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No. A-368 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 


One Hundred Years 






The Two Characters and Two Destinies. 


3S3 Bleeeker Streret, New York City. 


Copyright, 1895, by 
J*. -W. H O O ID 

Fairfield, N. C. 


General Secretary of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Connection. 

Selected out of the thousands of Zion's ministers to 
write the Introduction for Bishop Hood's notable History, 
I confess my shrinking from the task ; not because my 
heart is not in perfect sympathy with Bishop Hood's 
noble aim, that is, to place before the world what has never 
yet been written, a complete, reliable account of the rise 
and progress of one of the least known but one of the 
most prosperous, most aggressive of the many branches 
of God's Church ; or because I have any doubt concerning 
the ability of Bishop Hood, the author, to perform his 
task : but for fear that, with all my love for my Church ; 
with all my confidence that it has been and is now, in 
the hand of God, a grand leader in, and a blessing to, the 
world ; with all my heartfelt desire to do in the best 
way the necessary work of simply " an armor-bearer," I 
may not be able to single out with sufficient clearness 
the essential points of that History, that the truths thereof 
may be intensified and burned into the thought and life 
of the millions who, in this time of Christian activity, 
worship at our Church's altars. 

An Introduction is not really a review, and yet is a re- 
view in advance. The Introduction must know what it 
has to introduce. Neither is an Introduction to be a 


repetition simply of the History itself. The Introduction 
simply points the way, like the signpost at the crossing 
of the roads, and like the signpost it may suggest con- 
sideration of the better way. The Introduction is simply 
the make-up of specimen pages. 

Having said thus much in order to modify any exag- 
gerated notions of the purview of an Introduction, let us 
see who and what are before us. 

Naturally we ask ourselves, first, Who is James Walker 
Hood, D.D.? Many of us have met him. For thirty 
years he has been prominent in Zion Church work. We 
know he is a bishop, one of the leaders — the senior 
bishop — the captain of the Zion host. We have seen 
him presiding over Conferences ; we have read his work, 
The Negro in the CJiristian Pulpit ; we have heard him 
preach sometimes some wonderful sermons ; and we have 
heard of him as we were told that he planned this or 
that — that this or that was the result of his maneuver- 
ing ; that he is able and influential with men, and that 
his career seems to have the blessing of Almighty God. 
Yet this looks at and scans him at a distance ; what, just 
now, we need, is an introduction near at hand. 

James Walker Hood was fortunately born to be what 
he is to-day, most useful in his chosen calling. He was 
born in a Christian family. His father was one of God's 
ambassadors ; his mother an earnest, busy daughter and 
subsequently a motherly mother of the Church. He was 
born when among the colored citizens religion meant 
live Christianity ; the pulses of the people were stirred 
by the thrilling appeals for active devotion to God ; when 
conversion was a necessity ; when the ' ' Ye must be born 


again ! " was echoed from every pulpit and preached in 
every sermon. He was reared as a boy when vital 
Christianity was the aim of Church organization. He 
was reared, too, when and where the doctrines of equal- 
ity, political and civil, were voiced anew everywhere. 
He lived on the busy line of ' ' The Underground Rail- 
road," and with his parents and neighbors was made, 
under the law and over the law, a factor to "proclaim 
liberty to the captive," and to "let the oppressed go 
free." He was born into independent manly Church 
government, and naturally caught the spirit of Father 
Spencer, Father Varick, Father Rush, and of the other 
pioneers in pilgrimage to find place for African Metho- 
dism, tabooed, discredited, jostled aside, and disgraced 
because of its color. He was born early enough to know 
personally these pioneers of religious liberty, and natur- 
ally, about the year 1859, we find him an earnest minister 
of the Gospel in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion 
Connection. Headwise, therefore, and heartwise, he, of 
all others, is the fitting delineator of the relation which 
the colored American sustained to Church government in 
the early day. His "speech bewrayeth him." His voice is 
not that of one who has simply heard another voice, but 
of one who lived in the seething caldron of proscription, 
even in God's Church ; and therefore heart and brain 
and every interest in life are on fire in view of the work 
already done and to be done. And with his soul aflame 
he writes his burning words in this History for the Church 
of his choice. 

But he writes not simply as a Methodist minister, but 
as a scholarly Methodist minister. His statement in his 


beginning, his reasons for an Afric- American Church, 
his argument as to " Nimrod, the mighty hunter," his 
insight into Nimrod's and God's purposes, respectively, 
when the vain-glorious people were scattered, dispersed, 
because their language was confounded — all evince a 
thoughtful mind, a literary preparation for his work, 
and, as all through his History, a close study of God's 
eternal word. 

In his particular account of the African Methodist 
Episcopal Zion Church in America, and in his statement 
of the case as between the African Methodist Episcopal 
and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Bishop 
Hood not only evinces a thorough knowledge of the dif- 
ferences involved, but has the bravery to place on record 
what a man less self-conscious, or less confident of his 
knowledge of the case, might well shrink from ; but, as 
unpalatable as some things which he states may seem , he 
writes only as his own personal experience has justified. 
History which is history does not seek to flatter or to 
tickle pleasantly the sensibility, but gives us the facts as 
they existed at the time of which the writer discourses. 
If matters referred to seem harsh, it is because they are 
harsh as the truth of the hour. And in the ' ' efforts 
for union " between the African Methodist Episcopal 
and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Churches, 
it would be to invalidate the facts to say aught else 
than the statement by Bishop Hood, that at no time and 
in no way could it be truthfully said that the failure of 
union could be laid at the door of the African Methodist 
Episcopal Zion Connection. 

The truth is, as faintly hinted by Bishop Hood, the 


African Methodist Episcopal Zion Connection, because it 
is a Christian body, has seemed to be morbidly sensitive 
upon the subject of union, and especially upon the union 
of the two bodies named. So frequent has it been, that 
from various portions of the Christian field the Christian 
cry for union has been heard that to some who look 
simply on the surface it seemed as if the African Meth- 
odist Episcopal Zion Connection were afraid to go alone ; 
that it must have some company ; that it was almost beg- 
ging the right to exist through the grace or good will of 
some other Church organization ; when, if the other (sur- 
face-side) people knew the truth, they would find that 
the African Methodist Episcopal Zion people were only 
avoiding unchristianity by the Christian position we as- 
sumed, and were — during every moment of talk and 
thought and negotiations — marching onward in the work 
of God and winning victories in Christ's kingdom. 

But this book was not written to explain this matter. 
It is simply an incident in the Church's history, which 
must be mentioned and commented upon, like a hundred 
other matters which the History must record. 

In the description of the Connection's early struggles 
and the subsequent connectional division Bishop Hood 
is particularly happy, for he gives the events as they 
occurred. The able argument and defense of the Right 
Rev. William H. Bishop is slightly out of place, be- 
cause it was not at hand when the main facts of this 
portion of the History were being recorded, but it is to be 
found in the volume toward its close, and thus completes 
the argument of each side of that controversy long since 
passed away and largely forgotten, except as history. 


The history of the lives of the pioneers and executives 
of the Church, from Varick to and including Walters, is 
not only of interest, but is thrilling. It is not only the 
record of men, but of men bent upon serving God ac- 
cording to conscience. As completely as Martin Luther 
stood in his day for defense of the truth he believed; 
as firmly as John Knox and Calvin stood for Presbyte- 
rianism, or the Scotch Covenanters defended their reli- 
gious rights, listening to the truth 

" By Cameron thundered, or by Renwick poured in gentle stream," 
leaning on their pikes, so devoted that in some cases the 
moorlands of Scotland were dyed red as their heath- 
erbell, so these new defenders of religious liberty in 
this professedly free land rose up out of the environ- 
ments of bondage, where in many instances they were 
held in chains of iron, and out of a public sentiment 
which was a clamor for exclusion, stronger even than 
chains of law, and walking out upon the promises of the 
Lord of hosts made their demand for exercise of the 
right to worship God without molestation and according 
to the dictates of their consciences. And, living or 
dying, they have left to us a legacy of principle and pur- 
pose and piety which during the Church's march of one 
hundred years has glistened in our path_and pointed 
our way. 

If a resident of another world or a denizen of some 
foreign country should desire to know, as they will de- 
sire to know, where humanity has lifted itself highest ; 
where oppositions have been most notably met and van- 
quished ; where the struggle, even in God's Church, at 
God's altars, was successively and successfully waged in 


a Christian contest against unchristian "Christianity;" 
if such should wish to scan the history of men and 
women who have risen, risen by force of God-given 
ability and God-given help; risen from the discomfort 
and poverty of their enforced condition ; risen from the 
clutches of the mob which sought their harmless lives ; 
risen from the ashes of their dwellings and the embers 
of their churches fired by the torch of the incendiary ; risen 
from their Golgotha and their Calvary of suffering to re- 
spectability and recognition and power, over the law and 
by the law, he has only to read this book from the com- 
mencement to its end to find the truth and be satisfied. 

To sum up the wonderful record of this great, strug- 
gling Church, composed of men and women, most of 
them reared in poverty, I can surely name this book a 
" History of Prodigies." I look upon the Hon. Fred- 
erick Douglass, who came up from the slave plantation, 
as not only the best known but the foremost, best re- 
ceived colored American in all the world. Read his 
statement in this book. Who can tell what influence 
the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church had in 
shaping his destiny? So of a hundred others, members, 
at some time, of Zion Church, and, in the more circum- 
scribed sphere of each, as much a prodigy as he. Some 
pygmies lifted upon stilts have attempted to rob Zion 
Church of this honor, but Zion will live and flourish 
when the pygmies are forgotten. The history of some 
of the men and women whom Zion has helped and who 
have helped Zion is recorded in this volume. We chal- 
lenge the world of one hundred years past to produce a 
brighter record of progress. 


In these stirring times, when inquiry is awake, and 
the indications of the approach of justice are seen, no 
other book than this need be read to learn all that is 
necessary of the great problem of the hour in this pro- 
fessedly free land, and how to solve that problem. 

This work comes in the Centennial Year of the African 
Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. It speaks of progress, 
churchwise or spiritually, but necessarily it must also de- 
lineate the moral, the social, the intellectual, the financial 
advancement of the classes whom it especially represents. 

In this view it is a most timely contribution to the 
necessary literature of this age, and a complete defense, 
without seeking to be so, of the Afric- American citizen. 


For several years there has been a call for a more 
complete history of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion 
Church than has yet been published. The author has 
been impressed with the idea that about the close of the 
first hundred years of the existence of the Church as an 
independent body would be a good time to publish such 
facts as he has been able to put together. He does not 
put this forth as anything like a complete history. He 
has not been able to get those interested who might have 
furnished him very much interesting and important mat- 
ter. What he has given is very largely what has come 
within his own knowledge. He acknowledges indebt- 
edness to Rev. E. H. Curry, D.D., for a sketch of the 
Kentucky Conference; to Rev. W. H. Ferguson for a 
sketch of the Tennessee Conference; to Bishop C. C. Pet- 
tey , A . M . , D . D . , for a sketch of the Louisiana Conference ; 
to Rev. W. G. Strong, D.D., for some facts respecting the 
Alabama and Florida Conferences; to M. A. Majors, 
M.D., for a sketch of the Texas Conference ; to Rev. B. 
F. Wheeler, A.M., S.T.B., for a sketch of the New Jersey 
Conference. His intention was to publish about one hun- 
dred biographies, including persons in every part of the 
connection, but he has only partially succeeded. Several 
who promised sketches have failed to send them. 

It was not our purpose to boom men for office, nor to 



show what fine things we could say regardless of facts. 
We wanted simply to present unquestionable facts re- 
specting the subject. We desired in the sketches to 
present especially three classes : i . Those who have been 
distinguished by their great talents, improved and use- 
fully employed. 2. Those who have been great workers. 
3. The young people who are preparing themselves for 
leaders in the near future. Respecting the second class, 
it was our hope to be able to point to the particular 
church or churches organized, built, or improved by the 
subject of the sketch. This we have thought would 
prove to be among the most interesting features of the 
history. We have built more than fifteen hundred 
churches in the last twenty-five years. If we were pre- 
pared to say by whose instrumentality each church was 
erected it would certainly add much to the interest of the 
book. We have secured the facts as far as we have been 
able to do so. In some cases we have only been furnished 
the number of churches organized or built, without any 
statement as to where or when the work was done. 

Among those who furnished the facts just as were 
desired are Revs. E. H. Curry, R. H. G. Dyson, J. H. 
Jackson, C. A. King, J. P. Thompson, C. W. Winfield, 
J. M. Hill, H. B. Pettigrew, and a few others. These, 
it will be noticed, were great builders ; they built at 
nearly every place to which they were appointed. We 
are sure that the list of this class of men, who have been 
making history and building their own monuments, 
might have been greatly extended had the author known 
just how to reach them. 

The work that has been accomplished and the sam- 


pies of industry we have furnished are quite sufficient to 
indicate the extraordinary usefulness of our preachers. 
They have not only preached the Gospel faithfully, but 
have superintended the erection of churches, and in many 
cases have worked upon them with their own hands. 
No body of Christians were ever before found in the 
condition that the colored Methodists were at the close of 
the war. They had not been permitted to have separate 
churches, before the war, except to a very limited extent. 
At the close of the war they were not permitted to wor- 
ship with the whites, so that they constituted a large 
body of Christians without houses of worship. No other 
one generation of Christians has had to build all of its 

Respecting the sketches, we may remark that several 
of them are copied from the Star of Zion, or Quarterly, or 
some other paper, for which credit is given ; of some we 
have only given an extract, because of their great length 
or superfluity. In requesting the sketches we stated the 
facts that we wanted, but some, disregarding our request, 
sent us what we did not ask for and failed to send what 
we did ask for. In such cases we have done the best we 
could with what we got, in harmony with our design. 
One splendid writer sent us a sketch in which he made 
his subject the "Colored Phillips Brooks." We should 
not seek to be anybody but ourselves, nor permit any- 
body to make us other than ourselves ; you belittle your 
subject when you have to go outside of him to find 
material to build him out of. One of the beauties in the 
character of Bishop Jones was that he was great in him- 
self. His idea was not to be a Webster, nor a Phillips, 


nor a Sumner, but a Jones. A man who amounts to 
anything is at his best when he is himself. David dis- 
carded Saul's armor; the sling and smooth stone were 
his. In the case we are considering the biographer had 
no occasion to go outside of his subject for matter. He 
was writing of a man who has splendid abilities of his 
own, and we could not permit him to lose his identity; 
so if the biography does not appear just as it was writ- 
ten, both the writer and the subject will understand the 
reason why. And some little changes in others may be 
accounted for in the same way. If anyone should think 
that we might have gone a little further in the same 
direction, it must be borne in mind that there are some 
privileged characters in everything under human control. 
While the book is mainly a history of the African 
Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, a little outside matter 
is thrown in to heighten the interest. The second chap- 
ter is a sketch of the origin and greatness of the ancient 
ancestors of the Afro- American race. 



I. Early Race Distinctions i 

II. The Negro Race 27 

III. Particular Account of the African Methodist Episcopal 

Zion Church in America 56 

IV. Bethel Versus Zion . . . : 130 

V. The Characteristics of the African Methodist Episcopal 

Zion Church 154 

VI. First Bishop of the Church and His Successors 162 

Right Rev. James Varick 162 

Bishop Christopher Rush 168 

Bishop Joseph Jackson Clinton, D.D 172 

Bishop John J. Moore, D.D 174 

Bishop S. T. W. Jones 178 

Bishop J. W. Loguen 1 80 

Bishop J. D. Brooks 182 

Bishop W. H. Bishop 184 

Bishop S. D. Talbot 184 

Bishop J. W. Hood, D.D., LL.D 1S5. 

Bishop Joseph P. Thompson, D.D., M.D 188 

Bishop Thomas Henry Lomax, D.D 191 

Bishop C. R. Harris, D.D 202 

Bishop I. C. Clinton, D.D 207 

Bishop A. Walters, D.D 209 

VII. Conferences and Personal Sketches 213 

New York Conference 213 

Mrs. Bishop J. P. Thompson 216 

Rev. E. G. Clifton, D.D 218 

Rev. Mark Anthony Bradley 219 

Rev. J. S. Caldwell, A.M., B.D 222 

Rev. Jacob Thomas, D.D 223 

Philadelphia Annual Conference 226 

Rev. R. H. G. Dyson, D.D 227 

Rev. J. B. Small, A.M., D.D 233 

Rev. G. W. Offley, D.D 236 



Rev. James Harvey Anderson , 238 

Rev. J. W. Smith 240 

New England Conference 243 

Rev. G. L. Blackwell, A.M., S.T.B 245 

Rev. Nathaniel James Greene, D.D 250 

Rev. Samuel C. Birchmore 254 

Rev. J. B. Colbert 256 

Rev. William B. Fenderson, A.B., S.T.B 259 

Rev. William B. Bowen 261 

Rev. G. H. Washington 264 

Allegheny Conference 264 

Rev. Smith Claiborne 265 

Rev. George Wylie Clinton, A.M 268 

Rev. Robert E. Wilson, M.A 274 

Genesee Conference 276 

Rev. J. W. Lacey - 277 

Rev. James E. Mason, B.D 279 

Southern Conference 282 

Mrs. Bishop J. W. Hood 282 

Rev. William J. Moore, D.D 285 

Rev. Owen L. W. Smith 287 

North Carolina Conference 289 

Rev. Robert Harrison Simmons, D.D 301 

Rev. F. K. Bird, D.D 307 

Louisiana Conference 312 

Rev. T. F. H. Blackman 313 

Rev. G. H. S. Bell 315 

Professor William Howard Day, D.D 321 

Kentucky Conferettce 327 

Rev. James Bartlett Johnson 332 

Tennessee Conference 336 

Rev. A. G. Kesler 339 

Rev, Frederick M. Jacobs, A.B., B.D 346 

Virginia Conference 353 

Rev. James H. Manley, D.D 356 

Rev. W. H. Newby 358 

South Carolina Conference 359 

Rev. Nero Alexander Crockett 362 

Georgia Conferettce 364 

Alabatna Conference 3^5 

Rev. Solomon Deny 370 

Rev. John Wesley Alstork, D.D 374 

Rev. Titus Atticus Weathington 377 



California Conference 379 

Florida Conference 380 

West Tennessee and Mississippi Conference 381 

Rev. Daniel James Adams 382 

New yersey Conference 384 

Rev. B. F. Wheeler, B.D 396 

Bahama Island Conference 399 

Canada and Michigan Cotiference 400 

Central North Carolina Conference 401 

Warren C. Coleman 403 

Rev. James Monroe Hill 407 

Rev. Robert Stephen Rieves, D.D 412 

Rev. Robert Russell Morris, D.D 414 

Rev. R. Haywood Stitt, B.D 420 

West Alabama Conference 423 

Rev. Franklin A. Clinton 425 

Rev. P. J. Mcintosh. D.D , 429 

Arkansas Conference . 433 

Rev. S. L. Corrothers. 434 

Texas Conference 435 

North Georgia Conference 439 

South Florida Conference 439 

Missouri Conference 440 

North Louisiana Conference 441 

Western North Carolina Conference 443 

Rev. George Samuel Adams 444 

Rev. William Harvey Goler, D.D 447 

Ohio Conference 455 

South Mississippi Conference , 456 

Palmetto Conference 456 

Oregon Conference 456 

Blue Ridge Conference 457 

General Conference, 1 892 457 

J. C. Price, D.D 459 

Rev. Eli George Biddle, B.D 480 

Hon. John C. Dancy 482 

General Conference Delegates 490 

Bishops' Quadrennial Address 498 

VIII. Miscellaneous „ 522 

Constitution „ 525 

Constitution of Ministers' Mutual Benefit Society 528 



Mrs. Katie Walters 536 

Sister Mary Roberts . 538 

Mrs. Sarah E. C. Dudley Pettey 538 

Hon. Frederick Douglass 541 

Rev. Jehu Holliday, D.D 542 

Rev. Mark M. Bell 544 

Henry Page Derrit 547 

Rev. John Hooper , 548 

Rev. G. B. Farmer 550 

Rev. J. H. Mattocks 551 

Rev. Andrew J. Warner, D.D 553 

Rev. E. H. Curry, D.D 556 

Rev. B. M. Gudger , 559 

Rev. W. H. Ferguson, D.D 561 

Rev. C. W. Winfield, D.D 564 

Rev. H. B. Pettigre vv 566 

Rev. J. P. Thompson 568 

Rev. D. I. Walker 572 

Rev. Thomas Page R. Moore 575 

Rev. C. A. King 577 

Rev. James H. Jackson , 580 

Rev. George C. Carter 587 

Rev. A. F. Goslen 589 

Rev. Alexander Johnson Coleman 592 

Rev. W. H. Chambers „ 593 

Rev. J. H. Trimble 596 

Rev. Martin R. Franklin 597 

W. D. Clinton, M.D 598 

Rev. Simeon F. Dickson 600 

John Taylor Williams, M.D 602 

Rev. William T. W. Biddle 605 

Rev. Charles H. Smith, B.D 608 

Edward Moore, Ph.D 610 

Rev. Jesse Sumner Cowles 613 

Rev. John Thomas 615 

Rev. M. H. D. Ross 616 

Rev. M. G. Thomas 619 

Major A. G. Oden 620 

Summary by Conferences 624 

Summary by States 625 



Bishop James Varick Frontispiece 

Bishop Christopher Rush 169 

Bishop J. J. Clinton, D.D 173 

Bishop John J. Moore, D.D 174 

Bishop J. W. Hood, D.D., LL.D. 186 
Bishop Joseph P. Thompson, M.D., 

D.D 189 

Bishop T. H. Lomax, D.D 192 

Bishop Charles Calvin Pettey 

A.M., D.D 196 

Bishop I. C. Clinton, D.D.. . . 208 

Bishop A. Walters, D.D 210 

Mrs. Bishop Thompson 217 

Rev. E. G. Clifton, D.D 218 

Rev. Mark Anthony Bradley 220 

Rev. J. S. Caldwell, A.M., B.D.. . 222 

Rev. Jacob Thomas, D.D 224 

Rev. R. H. G. Dyson, D.D 228 

Rev. J. B. Small, A.M., D.D 234 

Rev. J. H. Anderson 239 

Rev. J. W. Smith 241 

Rev. G. L. Blackwell, A.M., S.T.B. 246 

Rev. N. J. Greene, D.D 251 

Rev. Samuel C. Birchmore 255 

Rev. J. B. Colbert 257 

Rev. William B. Fenderson, A.B., 

S.T.B 260 

Rev. William B. Bowen 262 

Rev. Smith Claiborne 266 

Rev. G.W.Clinton, A.M 269 

Rev. R. E. Wilson, M.A 275 


Rev. J. W. Lacey 278 

Rev. James E. Mason, B.D 280 

Mrs. Bishop J. W. Hood 283 

Rev. W. J. Moore, D.D 286 

Rev. Owen L. W. Smith 288 

Rev. Robert Harrison Simmons, 

D.D 302 

Rev. F. K. Bird, D.D 308 

Rev. J. B. Johnson 332 

Rev. A. G. Kesler 340 

Rev. F. M. Jacobs, A.B., B.D 347 

Rev. J. H. Manley, D.D 357 

Rev. W. H. Newby 359 

Rev. N. A. Crockett 363 

Rev. Solomon Deny 371 

Rev. J. W. Alstork, D.D 375 

Rev. T. A. Weathington 378 

Rev. D. J. Adams 383 

Rev. B. F. Wheeler, A.M., B.D., 

S.T.B 397 

Warren C. Coleman. •> 404 

Rev. J. M. Hill 408 

Rev. R. S. Rieves, D.D 4t3 

Rev. R. R. Morris, D.D 415 

Rev. R. H. Stitt, B.D 421 

Rev. F. A. Clinton 426 

Rev. P. J. Mcintosh, D.D 431 

Rev. S. L. Corrothers 434 

Rev. G. S. Adams 445 

Rev. W. H. Goler, D.D 449 

Bishop S. T. Jones 458 




Rev. J. C. Price, D.D 460 

Rev. E. G. Biddle, B.D. .... 481 

Hon. J. C. Dancy 483 

Mrs. Bishop T. H. Lomax 521 

Mrs. Bishop S. T. Jones 521 

First African Methodist Episco- 
pal Zion Church, Providence, 

R. 1 523 

Mrs. Katie Walters 537 

Mrs. Sarah E. C. Dudley Pettey. . 539 

Mrs. Bishop C. R. Harris 540 

Mrs. Bishop I. C. Clinton 540 

Rev. J. H. Mattocks 552 

Rev. B. M. Gudger 560 

Rev. Jehu Holliday, D.D 582 


Rev. E. H. Curry, D.D 582. 

Rev. S. T. Gray, M.D 586 

Rev. W. H. Chambers 594 

W. D. Clinton, M.D 599 

Rev. S. F. Dickson 601 

J. T. Williams, M.D 603 

Rev. C. H. Smith, B.D 609 

Professor E. Moore, A.M., Ph.D. . 611 

Rev. J. S. Cowles 614 

Rev. M. H. D. Ross 617 

Rev. M. G. Thomas 619 

Major A. G. Oden 621 

Varick Memorial Building and 
African Methodist Episcopal 

Zion Publishing House 623 



African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. 



At the birth of Methodism in this country its handful 
of votaries were so simple and honest, and so free from 
any thought of race distinctions in the divine presence, 
that no special notice was taken of the fact that there 
were colored people present to their disparagement. 
When Captain Webb and his associates met in a sail loft 
in 1765, on what was then known as the Battery, at the 
south end of New York city, they thought not of the 
complexion of the attendants, but rather of the salvation 
of their souls. And four years later, when John Street 
Church was built to accommodate the congregation of 
that first formed Methodist Church in America, there 
were no Negro pews nor back seats nor gallery especially 
provided for the dark-skinned members. They were 
welcomed in common with other members to all the 
privileges of God's house and worship. 

This happy state of affairs, however, did not long con- 
tinue. As the little despised body of Methodists grew 



larger and extended its borders, among the increasing 
numbers Negro haters crept in, and in the course of 
time affected the entire body with that plague, and, as 
all know, eventually resulted in division. Previous to 
the secession of the Southern portion of the Church in 
1844 there had been several smaller secessions result- 
ing from the Negro question. In fact, the Negro ques- 
tion has affected every Church in America. Although 
the Protestant Episcopal Church stood the shock of the 
antislavery agitation, yet one of the great questions in 
that Church to-day is the Negro question. 

American slavery for its own aggrandizement at- 
tempted to chattelize the whole of one of the three 
great branches of the human family. To do this effec- 
tually it was necessary to deny its consanguinity to other 
races, and in every way possible to crush out its manhood 
and make the impression upon the American people that 
the Negro was of an inferior order of beings. Some went 
so far as to deny that the Negro had a soul ; it was 
claimed by some that he sprang from some species of 
the monkey, gorilla, or orang-outang. If those who 
advocated these notions really believed them they placed 
the proud Caucasian race in a very unenviable position ; 
for the females of this race, who were thus represented 
as she animals without souls, were ofttimes the bosom 
companions of white men and the mothers of their chil- 
dren. Then the question arises, What portion of a soul 
did the offspring have? The father had a soul, the 
mother none; did the offspring have just half a soul? 
But these inconsistent and nonsensical ideas were put 
forth to quiet the conscience of the American people and 


to prevent the uprising of a sentiment which would en- 
danger the accursed institution. 

This purpose to maintain the inferiority of the Negro 
was seen in the effort to close the door of every social 
organization against him. The door of masonry was so 
effectually barred against him by American lodges that 
he is wholly indebted to the English army lodges and to 
the Grand Lodge of England for the privileges of that 
ancient fraternity. He has likewise been barred from 
nearly every social organization in America, at the bid- 
ding of the slave power. 

It is easy, therefore, to understand how this same in- 
fluence would affect the Negro in his Church relation. 
There was not the same universal disposition to keep him 
out of the Church ; he was wanted in the Church for the 
support he gave it, for the numbers he enabled sectarians 
to claim in exhibiting their strength, and, with the mi- 
nority, who were truly pious, he was wanted there for the 
good of his soul. For these and other reasons he was 
not kept entirely out of the Church. But in the Church 
he was hampered and regulated. His privileges were 
proscribed and limited ; every possible effort was made 
to impress him with a sense of inferiority. Preachers 
were selected who delighted in discoursing to him upon 
such texts as " Servants, obey your masters,'" and who were 
adepts at impressing the Negro with his inferiority in 
the most ingenious and least offensive way. This state 
of things was not confined to any one particular branch 
of the American Church, but it was found in every de- 
nomination and in every community in which there was 
any considerable number of the black race. 


The first outcropping of this wicked spirit which we 
have noticed in Church history is recorded in the Min- 
utes of the Methodist Conference which was held in 
Baltimore in 1780. The twenty-fifth question pro- 
pounded in that Conference was as follows : 

Question 25. Ought not the assistant [Mr. Asbury] to meet the colored 
people himself, and appoint as helpers in his absence proper white persons, 
and not suffer them to stay late and meet by themselves ? 

Answer. Yes.* 

This, no doubt, was the origin of that regulation 
throughout the South which forbade any considerable 
number of blacks meeting together without the presence 
of a white person. It was many years after 1780 before 
this stringent measure was placed upon the statute books 
of many of the States, but here we find it adopted by a 
Christian body against a portion of its own members. If 
they were members in common with others they ought 
to have been permitted to meet in common with others. 
It seems that they were not, but had separate meetings, 
even at that early day, at least in Baltimore and some 
other Southern cities. Qf they were obliged to have 
separate meetings they ought to have been permitted to 
have leaders of their owmj This they were denied, and 
this denial was a subservience to the proslavery proclivi- 
ties of the times. This state of affairs did not only exist 
in the Methodist Church, but in all Churches which had 
any considerable number of colored members. So that 
about the close of the eighteenth century there was a 
general restlessness among the colored members of all 
denominations, which resulted in a movement unparal- 

* See Compilation of Minutes by Daniel Hitt and Thomas Ware, in 1813. 


lele.d in the history of the Christian Church ; a move- 
ment which resulted in the establishment of the Negro 
Church, not of one denomination only, but of all denom- 
inations to which any considerable number of colored 
people belonged. We can trace the origin of every im- 
portant branch of the Afro- American Church back to the 
latter part of the eighteenth or beginning of the nineteenth 
century. The movement was widespread and nearly 
simultaneous. In 1 796 the African Methodist Episcopal 
Zion Church was organized in New York ; in 1 804 
the Abyssinian Baptist Church was organized in New 
York ; the Joy Street Baptist Church was organized in 
Boston in 1805; in 1806 the Colored Methodist Church 
was organized in Wilmington, Del., which resulted seven 
years later in the organization of the African Union 
(Methodist) Church in the same city ; the First African 
Presbyterian Church was organized in Philadelphia in 
1807 ; about 1809 the First Colored Methodist Church was 
also organized in Philadelphia, which resulted seven years 
later in the formation of the (Bethel) African Methodist 
Episcopal Church. ^_This was a most remarkable move- 
ment, and, we repeat, unparalleled in the history of the 
Christian Church. It was a general exodus of the colored 
members out of the white Churches for reasons never 
before known. Secessions from Churches are generally 
the result of differences of opinion on doctrine or Church 
government. But it was neither of these which caused 
this movement. The seceders in every case formed 
Churches of the same faith and order, and the same form 
of Church government as that from which they separated. 
This movement took place when means of travel and 


of communication were limited and poor. There, was 
but little opportunity for consultation, and yet the race 
moved as a unit. To one unacquainted with the state 
of affairs the question would naturally arise in the mind, 
What could have given rise to this movement of a whole 
scattered race, of one accord, with one mind and purpose, 
and in one direction ? 

Nothing - but the desire for the freedom which was de- 
nied them in the white Church could have produced this 
general exodus. Like causes produce like effects wher- 
ever they operate, and the disposition to cramp and pro- 
scribe the black brother, operating in all denominations, 
had the same general effect. The oppression being 
general, the desire to escape it became general. 

There has been a disposition on the part of several 
branches of the Negro Church to claim priority in this 
movement; at least five denominations claim to have 
moved first. We shall not at this point enter into the 
controversy on that question ; the mind's eye rests upon 
a higher and grander view ; the general movement towers 
up with such inexpressible grandeur that in comparison 
with it the consideration of any one branch dwindles into 
insignificance. Besides this, we have concluded that in 
one sense each may have been first ; that is, in its incep- 
tion the movement was one. God moved at once upon 
the heart of the race, and from that time there was a 
restlessness which resulted in the establishment of the 
Afro-American Church in general. How else can we ac- 
count for the conflicting claims? We desire to be strictly 
fair, and to our mind this was not a Presbyterian or 
Baptist movement ; it was not a Bethel, Union, or Zion 


movement ; but it was a grand united Negro movement. 
It was the race that was oppressed, it was the race that 
moved. It was a movement by which a race, hampered, 
proscribed, regulated, and oppressed, gave a grand united 
exhibition of its determination to find in its own organ- 
izations that religious liberty which was denied it in the 
white Church. 

In forming these organizations there were many diffi- 
culties to be overcome. The ministers of the several 
denominations were opposed to the movement, especially 
the Methodist ministers, including a majority of the 
bishops ; and the episcopal form of government was fav- 
orable to the purpose of the Methodist ministers to hinder 
the success of the colored brethren in their effort to be 
free. The Presbyterians and Baptists had only to find 
three friendly presbyters in order to secure ordination ; 
but in the Methodist Church the authority to ordain was 
vested in the bishops and Conferences. The Conference 
elects and the bishop conducts the ordination. This be- 
ing the case, it was much more easy to hedge up the way 
of the colored Methodist. By magnifying the impor- 
tance of particular forms it was an easy matter to sow 
discord in the ranks of the blacks, and this was freely 
done. Much is now said about the folly of having so 
many branches of the African Methodist Church, but the 
mother Church is almost wholly responsible for this folly. 
If she had granted the request of Zion Church when it 
was first formed, to ordain her ministers, they would 
have gone forth and built up a connection, and no other 
could have been formed. We shall have more to say 

on this point in another place. When we think of the 


indignities which were heaped upon the Negro in the 
white Church we cannot wonder that he came out. 

The following address, issued by the founders of the 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, who were 
among the most conservative Christians of their day, 
gives an epitome of the disadvantages to which they were 
subjected in the white Church, and certainly justifies 

their action. 

founders' address. 
To the Members of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in 
America : 


Beloved Brethren : We think it proper to state briefly that, after 
due consideration, the official members of the African Methodist Episco- 
pal Zion and Asbury Churches, in the city of New York, have been led to 
conclude that such was the relation in which we stood to the white bish- 
ops and Conference relative to the ecclesiastical government of the Afri- 
can Methodist Church or Society in America, that so long as we remained 
in that situation our preachers would never be able to enjoy those privileges 
which the Discipline of the white Church holds out to all its members that 
are called of God to preach, in consequence of the limited access our 
brethren had to those privileges, and particularly in consequence of the 
difference of color. We have been led also to conclude that the usefulness 
of our preachers has been very much hindered, and our brethren in general 
have been deprived of those blessings which Almighty God may have de- 
signed to grant them through the means of those preachers whom he has 
from time to time raised up from among them, because there have been 
no means adopted by the said bishops and Conference for our preachers 
to travel through the connection and promulgate the Gospel of our Lord 
Jesus Christ ; and they have had no access to the only source from whence 
they might have obtained a support, at least, while they traveled. Under 
these circumstances they believe that the formation of an itinerant plan and 
the establishment of a Conference for the African Methodist preachers of 
the United States would be essential to the prosperity of the spiritual con- 
cerns of our colored brethren in general, and would be the means of ad- 
vancing our preachers (who are now in regular standing in connection 
with the white preachers of the Methodist Episcopal Church), whenever 
it should be found necessary, for the advancement of the Redeemer's 
kingdom among our brethren, to bring forward for ordination those 
who are called of God to preach the Gospel of our Lord, which may 
be done from time to time, according to the best of our judgment of 


the necessity thereof, and not according to the method which it is nat- 
ural to suppose our white brethren would pursue, to determine upon 
the necessity of such ordination. We are under strong impression of mind 
that such measures would induce many of our brethren to attend divine 
worship who are yet careless about their eternal welfare and thereby 
prove effectual in the hands of God in the awakening and conversion 
of their souls to the knowledge of the truth. 

And whereas, Almighty God, in his all-wise and gracious providence, 
has recently offered a favorable opportunity whereby these societies may 
be regularly organized as an evangelical African connection, v 'we have 
therefore resolved to embrace the said opportunity, and have agreed that 
the title of the connection shall be the African Methodist Episcopal 
Church in America, and we have selected a form of Discipline, from 
that of our mother Church (with a little alteration), which selection we rec- 
ommend to you for the Doctrines and Discipline of our Church, hoping 
that the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls, the all-wise and gracious 
God, will be pleased to approve of the above measures and grant that we 
may obtain and preserve those privileges which we have been heretofore 
deprived of ; that thereby we may unite our mutual efforts for the pros- 
perity of the Redeemer's kingdom among us and for the encouragement 
of our colored brethren in the ministry. 

Earnestly soliciting your prayers and united endeavors for the same, we 
remain your affectionate brethren and servants in the kingdom of our 
ever-adorable Lord, Abraham Thompson, 

James Varick, 
William Miller. 

The great respect that these men had for the mother 
Church is seen in the care they took not to use language 
which might be offensive. This is not only seen in this 
address to their own people, but it characterizes every 
document emanating from them during the twenty years 
or more that they were in correspondence with the bishops 
and Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, trying 
to get that body to assist them in their effort to establish 
in a regular way an ordained ministry in the African 
Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. 

Like those separating from the white people of other 
denominations, it was the design of the Zion and Asbury 


Churches to maintain the same doctrine and set up the 
same form of government as the Church from which 
they sprung, and they were especially desirous that 
the bishops of that Church should ordain their minis- 
ters. They had no fault to find with the doctrine or 
form of government ; the only trouble was that they 
could not, in that organization, on account of their color, 
enjoy the privileges it offered to others. The teaching 
from the pulpit was, that God is no respecter of per- 
sons. The practice was, that the black people were pro- 
scribed and hindered from exercising themselves with 
that freedom which the form of government held out to 
white members. Both the masses and also those who 
were favored with special gifts and callings were discrim- 
inated against. The colored members were not permitted 
to come to the sacrament until all the white members, 
even children, had communed. The line was also drawn 
at the baptismal font. 

We have heard a story told of a minister who was 
baptizing children. When he had gotten through with 
the white children he looked up to the gallery and said, 
" Now you niggers can bring your children down." A 
sister brought her child and presented it, when the min- 
ister said, "Name this child." The mother said, 
" George Washington." The minister looked at her for 
a moment as though she had been guilty of some great 
crime, and said, "George Washington, indeed! 
Caesar's his name. Caesar, I baptize thee," etc. Now, 
Caesar is no mean name ; but that mother thought she 
had a right to select from the list of dignitaries the name 
most pleasing to herself, and what right had the minister 


to deny her this privilege ? A few of those called were 
licensed to preach among their own people, but were not 
permitted to receive holy orders nor to join the itineracy. 
There were many other little vexations to which they 
were subjected. 

The things which we have been considering as causes 
leading to the establishment of the Afro-American 
Church are what was seen upon the surface of this move- 
ment. It has been remarked that beneath a rough and 
almost useless surface valuable mines have been discov- 
ered. We have a notion that beneath this rough and 
unchristian usage to which the founders of the Afro- 
American Church were subjected there was a divine 
purpose, in the unfolding of which the race subjected to 
this ill treatment is destined to enjoy blessings more 
precious than silver or gold. In the unfolding of that 
Providence which underlaid the human meanness which 
produced the general exodus of the Afro-American race 
from the white Church, there have come and still are 
coming to the proscribed race benefits so rich, abundant, 
and glorious that the sufferings incident are not worthy 
of mention. They are simply the crucible in which the 
refining process is carried on, by which the race comes 
forth as gold tried by fire. 

History frequently repeats itself. We see Joseph sold 
into Egyptian slavery as the result of the envy of his- 
brethren ; that was God's way to exalt Joseph and tO' 
provide for a seven years' famine. We see the Egyp- 
tians oppressing Israel ; that was God's way to get 
Israel out of Egypt and into the wilderness, where he 
could form them into a people for himself — that he 


might make them an elect race — that he might, through 
them, make himself known to the nations of the earth. 
Likewise we see the black man oppressed and fettered in 
the white Church, his life made bitter and his condition 
rendered intolerable ; that was God's way to get him 
out of the white Church and into an organization of his 
own, that he might have a field for development untram- 
meled. Had he remained in the white Church he would 
have become dwarfed to such a degree that ages must 
have elapsed before he could have risen to any eminence 
in the world. 
"^v This is seen in those who have remained in the white 
Church ; you can almost at a glance see the shadow of 
the white man resting upon them. The argument 
against making a black man a bishop in the Methodist 
Episcopal Church is that no man has risen among them 
with the necessary qualifications. That is the best evi- 
dence which can be produced that the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church is a poor soil in which to raise black episcopal 
timber. It dwarfs them. One of their dwarfs once said, 
"No Negro ever originated an idea." Only one reared 
in hopeless bondage to the idea of the white man's 
superiority could exhibit such shameful ignorance of the 
excellencies of his own race. This was a man possessing 
a splendid intellect and fine culture ; he was a natural 
giant; he had originated scores of ideas himself; but 
he belonged to the white Church, and the shadow of the 
white man was upon him so that he could not discern 
even his own brightness. 

If such is the condition of the black man in the white 
Church, notwithstanding the existence of the African 


Church, which modifies the white Church to a very large 
degree, what must have been his condition if there had 
been no African Church ? 

It is a remarkable fact that the development of the 
black man has come almost wholly through his Church. 
This cannot be said of any other race on the globe. Pos- 
sibly the Jew ought to be excepted, as he was developed 
in the same way. There is so much likeness in the his- 
tory of the black man to that of the Jew that we are im- 
pressed with the idea that God has some great purpose 
respecting the Negro race ; whatever that purpose may 
be, we feel assured that the Negro Church is, and will 
continue to be, the most important factor. 

If there had been no Negro Church he would have 
had no opportunity for the development of his faculties, 
nor would he have had any platform on which to exhibit 
his vast possibilities. The Negro Church was one of the 
powerful instrumentalities by which the accursed system 
of American slavery was overthrown ; it was an agency of 
the Underground Railway, by which communication was 
kept open between the North and the South ; it was a 
magazine from which antislavery missiles were drawn 
to be hurled against the ramparts of the doomed institu- 
tion ; it afforded a platform upon which antislavery agi- 
tators cried aloud and spared not. No mortal can tell 
how much the Negro Church contributed to the emanci- 
pation of the slave. 

But we regard this as only incidental, the main pur- 
pose having been to give the Negro a field for develop- 
ment. Without the Church he was absolutely without 
the opportunity to rise above the lowest condition in life. 


We have already mentioned the fact that he was shut 
out from the social organizations ; he was likewise shut 
out from the literary institutions, from the mechanical arts, 
and from every learned profession. The common schools 
in most parts of the country were closed against him, and 
even in a free State a white lady was mobbed for teaching 
colored children. We repeat, he neither had the oppor- 
tunity to develop nor to exhibit his capacity for develop- 
ment. He was shut in on every side, like Israel at the 
Red Sea; behind him was the slave power, blacker in 
wickedness and more terrible than the hosts of Pharaoh 
which pursued Israel ; on either side were the moun- 
tains of caste prejudice, and before him was the sea of 
difficulties necessarily attendant upon an effort to form 
an organization of his own. But he heard the voice of 
God saying, " Go forward!" Into the wilderness? Yea, 
but free ! He has found it a wilderness of strife within 
and opposition from without. Not only has he had to 
contend against the world, the flesh, and Satan, but 
powerful religious organizations have thrust their forms 
athwart his way. Nevertheless the God of Israel has led 
him, not only forty years, but for one hundred years, and 
still leads him. 

The cramped and hampered condition of the race in 
general which we have described continued, to a large 
extent, up to the time of the Emancipation. There was 
no opportunity for the black man except what his Church 
gave him. The Church was not only his pillar and 
ground of truth, but it was all he could lay claim to in 
all this broad land. For development it was to him 
what the Church and all other institutions were to the 


rest of mankind. It was his common school, his lyceum, 
his college, his municipal council, his legislative hall, 
and his Congress. Through it he had to learn every- 
thing he did learn respecting the laws and usages of 
society and the art of government. Hence it was that 
there were comparatively few learned or distinguished 
black men, except among the ministry. And the few 
distinguished men who were not ministers were in some 
way developed through the instrumentality of the Church. 
If they were professional lecturers the Church made 
them, brought them forward, and gave them a platform 
and audience and the opportunity for development. 

Fred Douglass, one of the most remarkable men that 
the race has produced, admits that he is indebted to the 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in New Bed- 
ford, Mass., for what he is. As sexton, class leader, 
and local preacher in that Church he got his inspiration, 
training, and send-off, which have made him the wonder 
of his time. 

It must be evident to all who think on the subject that 
without the African Church at the period at which four 
millions of bondmen were freed they would have been 
absolutely without trained leaders of any considerable 
intelligence. And what must have been the state of 
things? The white ministers of the South, as a rule, for 
the first five years after emancipation took no interest at 
all in the religious instruction of the f reedmen ; thou- 
sands of them have not yet conquered their indifference. 
We repeat, what must have been the condition of things if 
the African Church had not been prepared to take hold 
of the mass of sin and ienorance which was turned loose 


upon the nation? The Northern white Church was not 
prepared for the work ; white men were not suited to 
this work, and the situation forbade them undertaking 
it. To care for the spiritual welfare of people you must 
be of them and among them. No white man could have 
lived among the colored people, as it is necessary for a 
pastor to do, and yet retained the respect, or even toler- 
ation, of the white people in most sections of the South. 
The Methodist Episcopal Church has done a grand, a 
glorious, yea, a praiseworthy work, in its schools in the 
South. If it had confined its work to this line it would 
have been an unmixed blessing to our people. But in 
its attempt to establish churches among the colored peo- 
ple it has in many places done more harm than good. It 
has, in many places, hindered us from doing what it could 
not do ; hence in such instances nothing worth naming has 
been done where much might have been accomplished. 

If that Church had left the Church work among the col- 
ored people to the African Church, and spent one half 
the money through them that it has spent in trying to 
establish its own Church among the colored people, it 
would have had five times as much to show as the result 
of the output, and its work among the white people of the 
South would have been five times as great; and possibly 
there would have been by this time a reunion between 
the Northern and Southern Churches. By its well-meant 
but mistaken policy it has hindered both itself and us. 

But I presume that an attempt on our part to show 
that Church the state of things as we see it would be a 
waste of time. Its policy has always been to retain the 
colored people, and its agents have not always been very 


scrupulous as to the means employed, as we may have 
occasion to note. 

The African Church is the source from which the 
freedman has received his truest and most efficient lead- 
ers. The idea of a Church of his own, for the support 
of which he was wholly responsible, gave the freedman 
an object lesson on the importance of self-reliance which 
he could not by any other means have learned so soon. 
The agents of the Methodist Episcopal Church came to 
the freedmen and said to them : ' ' Come to the old 
mother Church, and she will build your churches for you 
and she will support your ministers. If you go to Bethel 
or Zion you will be taxed to death to support the connec- 
tional institutions. Come with us and we will give you 
all you need." Many were thus persuaded to join the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, and churches planted by 
this means many years ago are not self-sustaining to-day. 
The people got used to being carried, and they have not 
learned to walk yet. Many of these churches are at a 
standstill, while African churches planted alongside of 
them, without any outside help, are growing and flour- 
ishing. It is impossible to estimate the harm that has 
been done the freedmen by those who, with zeal minus 
judgment, have pursued a course which has rendered 
many of our people indifferent to the importance of sup- 
porting their own institutions. The necessity of the sit- 
uation compelled the African ministers to urge upon the 
people the importance of supporting the Church and its 
institutions ; and the good effect is seen in the vast num- 
ber of churches they have erected, and also in a few flour- 
ishing institutions of learning. 


There was a complaint in the South for a time that 
the African ministers were generally politicians. This 
complaint originated in two causes : i . The suspicion on 
the part of politicians that black ministers would use 
their influence with their congregations in favor of the 
Republican Party. But there are many things about the 
freedmen which are not known to any except those who 
have been closely associated with them through all these 
years ; and one of these things is the freedmen's intui- 
tive knowledge of the political situation. They needed 
no persuasion from their leaders to induce them to vote 
for the party of liberal ideas ; they were often more 
radical, because less thoughtful, than their leaders. And 
what was known as the white man's party took no great 
pains to hide from the black man its purpose to limit, at 
least, his political privileges. The history of the Negro- 
hating party for twenty-five years preceding the emanci- 
pation was very much better understood by the black 
people than the white people supposed. Its record has 
been the support of every measure that was passed to 
the injury of the black man. 

Reading the articles published in the Christian Index 
for four or five years from about the year 1870, one natu- 
rally got the impression that the purpose of establishing 
the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church was to control 
the colored people in politics ; but if such was the pur- 
pose it was a lamentable failure. In many places, es- 
pecially in North Carolina, we have known instances in 
which the leaders in that Church had to vote the Repub- 
lican ticket to prevent their people from leaving them. 
There is no greater mistake than to suppose that the col- 


ored ministers, as a rule, have dabbled largely in politics; 
within the range of our observation not one in twenty 
have been active politicians. 

2. The second cause for this complaint was that in 
the state of things already narrated, in the want of op- 
portunity for development, the few colored ministers 
who came South during or soon after the war were the 
only well-informed leaders the people had, and, whatever 
their inclination, they were, at that early period, com- 
pelled at times to accept positions as representatives to 
prevent the people from being misrepresented by men 
too ignorant to do them credit. Here, again, we see the 
importance of the African Church and the gracious re- 
sults of a superintending and overruling Providence, in 
that it was the means of preparing men for that emer- 
gency. Far better would it have been for the freedmen, 
and the nation as well, if there had been many more 
upright and intelligent leaders at that period. But the 
Afro- American Church, the only instrumentality for the 
development of this race, had done what it could during 
the dark period in the God-appointed work of develop- 
ing men for the time. 

The wonders they have accomplished in building up 
the thousands of churches throughout the South, without 
any means except what they could collect from the freed- 
men themselves, attests their devotion and sagacity, as 
also the presence of the Lord among them and his 
gracious favor toward them. The Negro Church to-day, 
in its several denominations, has millions of souls under 
its care, and it is doubtful if any other race has so large 
a proportion of church-going people. Its institutions are 


now preparing men and women to go into the dark 
parts of the world, bearing the lamp of Gospel light to 
the millions yet in darkness. 

While, therefore, on the surface of this subject we see 
the black brother driven out from the white Church by a 
wicked prejudice, underlying this we see the wisdom of 
a superintending and overruling Providence, molding, 
fashioning, and moving, and thus preparing a race for 
its own development, and at the same time making the 
wrath of men to praise him. 

In the white Church the black man was deprived of 
the privilege of exercising his spiritual gifts ; coming 
out, he got his pulpit, in which he has developed into a 
workman of whom none need be ashamed ; a divider of 
truth, who giveth to each one his portion in due season. 
To reach the top the black man must go up on his own 
plane, must climb his own ladder. The white man 
will never step aside to make room for him. We need 
hardly state that the feeling of superiority is inherent 
in the white race in this country. No white man will 
charge us with a misstatement in this, for he boasts 
of his superiority; we do not admit it; we deny it, 
but he claims it. With such feelings and such a claim 
no degree of merit on the black man's part could en- 
title him to the first position in the white man's esti- 
mation. But while white men may not feel it their 
duty to assist in the exaltation of one whom they look 
upon as belonging to an inferior race, yet when a black 
man, on his own merit, and upon his own ladder, has 
reached the first position, there are many white men 
who will grasp his hand in recognition, and even in 


congratulation, because they do not have to stoop to take 
his hand. 

Hence it came to pass at the Centennial Conference of 
Methodists in Baltimore, Md., in 1885, black bishops 
presided in common with others. But if there had been 
no black bishops there would have been no black men 
in the position to preside over that body; and if there 
had been no African Church there would have been no 
black bishops. A race is judged by its distinguished 
men, but where there is no opportunity for distinction it 
is impossible to judge a race by that method. This was 
for a long time the black man's great difficulty, and is 
to some extent yet. When the opportunity has been 
afforded he has made his mark ; but his enemies have 
determined that his opportunity shall be minimized to 
the last possible degree, and they have to a great extent 
been able to stop his progress. But the African Church 
has set before him an open door which no man can shut ; 
has opened for him an avenue which no man can close, 
and has put him on a line of march for the front by 
which he may, if he will, reach the acme of human use- 
fulness, and those are only truly great who are truly 

Dr. J. C. Price, without any effort on his own part or that 
of his associates, was offered an appointment to represent 
this government at a foreign court. And why? Because 
the African Church had raised him up and had given 
him the opportunity to distinguish himself. Black bish- 
ops have been invited to fill pulpits in white churches 
in sections where the same courtesy has not been ex- 
tended to other ministers of equal ability. The differ- 


ence shown is because of the distinction. The exalted 
position the bishop holds in his own Church — a recog- 
nized portion of the holy catholic Church — opens the 
way for him. We have heard white men say that they 
went to hear black men for the purpose of criticising, 
and we think it altogether fair that the ability of a race 
should be tested ; but where there is no opportunity for 
development and no platform for the exhibition of ca- 
pacity the possibilities of a race can never be known. 
Such for a long time was the condition of the black man 
in this country, and such it would have remained if God 
had not come to his help by the formation of the African 
Church. That the Negro has military genius is evident 
from the great conquerors the race has produced ; but 
blinded by prejudice, and, we might add, largely on 
account of shameful ignorance, the present generation 
reads of those ancient black heroes without a thought of 
their having been black. That the black race possesses 
statesmanship is seen in the fact that it ruled the world 
for many hundreds of years ; but the present generation has 
passed over this fact without noticing it. We might also 
speak of his legal lore, of his skill in physics, and of his 
diplomatic ability ; but you might as well make signs to 
the blind as to attempt to convince this generation of the 
Negro's capacity by pointing to what he has been. It 
must be demonstrated by the exhibition of what the race 
can achieve now. 

Thank God, who has opened the way by which he has 
given the oppressed race the Church, the best thing he has 
on earth, as a field for development, and also as a means 
for the exhibition of his capacity for development. Not 


only has this instrumentality opened the way for the de- 
velopment of the race in a material and intellectual sense, 
but the salvation of souls is also involved. 

The black man is much more sensitive to insult than 
he is supposed to be ; there are thousands, yea, tens of 
thousands, of black men who would not attend church at 
all if they had to endure proscription. If limited to the 
gallery or certain back seats they would refuse to accept 
the means of grace thus offered, and consequently perish 
in their sins. This is a fearful thought, but such would 
have been the end of thousands now safe in heaven had 
there been no African Church. Besides this, with the 
present state of feeling the presence of black people in 
the white church frequently puts many white people out 
of frame for worship. In the city of Portland, State of 
Oregon, we found as little race prejudice as in any place in 
this country. We could have had our choice of any unoc- 
cupied rooms at hotels, could have lunched at any of the 
restaurants, or gone at will wherever a door was open for 
the public. And yet even there a lady told us of an 
incident happening to herself which illustrates the point 
we make. She was a Baptist, but there was no colored 
church in Portland except the Zion Methodist. She 
therefore, to be with her own people, attended the Zion 
Church generally ; but to receive the sacrament among 
people of her own faith she retained her membership in 
the white Baptist church and regularly attended the 
communion there. On one Sabbath she went early and 
took a seat on a bench upon which no one was sitting. 
Pretty soon a gentleman entered who was but little 
lighter than herself (for she was nearly white). He was 


about to take a seat beside her, but on observing who she 
was he walked out into the aisle and found a seat else- 
where. The lady felt very unpleasant over it ; several 
persons noticed it, and they felt badly. Possibly there 
were a dozen or more persons put out of the frame for 
worshiping the Lord during that service. The African 
Church, to a large extent, prevents such scenes in God's 
house. The Negro Church is the rock of hope for the 
race ; it gives it a distinguishing place in the divine plan 
for the evangelization of the world. In the holy crusade 
by which the nations of the earth are to be brought to 
Christ the African Church forms one of the three grand 
divisions of Emanuel's army. It is placed upon the left 
to withstand the right wing of the opposing forces, the 
host of darkness. The fiery ordeal through which it 
has already passed has prepared it for this important 

Formalism and skepticism have ever been among the 
most powerful oppositions with which genuine Christian- 
ity has had to contend ; but the spirituality of the black 
man makes him the natural opponent of formalism ; his 
religion becomes a part of him. His soul is filled with 
it. It sparkles out of his eyes, it bursts forth from his 
mouth, and his hands and feet declare the rapture of his 
heart. You seldom see a cold and lifeless Negro Church. 
Neither is he affected with skepticism. The holy fire is 
kept so continually alive on the altar that both formal- 
ism and skepticism are consumed. Ever since Simon 
the Ethiopian bore the cross of Christ, the Negro, when- 
ever sufficiently enlightened, has stood by it. 

In Egypt, where Christians have been oppressed for 


ages, and Christianity has been almost crushed out, the 
Copts, the descendants of the ancient Egyptians or Miz- 
raimites, still cling to the cross, even in that dark land. 
While skepticism, adventism, universalism, annihila- 
tionism, probationism, and many other pernicious isms 
are gaining ground among the white people the masses 
of black Christians are still earnestly contending for the 
faith once delivered to the saints. 

It was probably the purpose of Jehovah in maintaining 
the identity of the race in this country, and forming the 
African Church, to make it a stronghold of pure and un- 
defiled religion. A single black preacher is said to have 
kindled the fires of Methodism at Fayetteville, N. C, 
about a hundred years ago, which burned throughout 
that State and into the adjoining State of South Carolina. 
He first began to preach among his own race and formed 
a church. Finally, out of curiosity, the white people 
began to attend his meetings, and many of them were 
converted, which ultimately resulted in the formation of 
many churches in that section. His spirit still lives in 
Fayetteville, and that vicinity has produced more preach- 
ers than any other seven towns of its size within our 
knowledge. Not less than fifty preachers have started 
out from that section in the last twenty-five years; 
among the number are three bishops, Lomax and Harris, 
of Zion Church, and Beebe, of the Colored Methodist 
Episcopal Church. There is at least one white preacher 
who takes pleasure in telling that his father, who was 
also a preacher, was converted through the labors of 
Father Evans, the pioneer black preacher. Bishop Ca- 
pers speaks of him as one of the most remarkable men 


he ever knew. The Annual Conference of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church, South, whenever it meets in Fay- 
ette ville, occupies some time in eulogies of Father 
Evans, and the speakers refer to him as the Father of 
Methodism in North Carolina. If such was the abun- 
dant yield of that root out of dry ground, what may we 
not expect as the results of the labors of the cultured 
sons and daughters of Ham who are now being prepared 
through the instrumentality of the Afro-American 
Church to go forth bearing the unadulterated word, free 
from all pernicious isms? 

The Church having opened the way for the develop- 
ment of the black man, other means have followed, and 
still others will follow, until his opportunities are equal 
to those of any other race and his rights and excellen- 
cies are acknowledged by all. Possibly there may then 
be a union of all who are of the same faith and order, 
without race distinctions. The African Church will 
then have accomplished its special work — not till then. 
Till then there must be no faltering, no looking back to 
the fleshpots of Egypt; every branch of the African 
Church must use all the means within its reach, to the 
end that the race may stand in the front ranks of civil 
and religious liberty. 




Since we have asserted the ancient greatness of the 
Negro race, and since assertion is lame without proof, 
a chapter here on this subject may not be out of place. 
It is the impression with many that the Negro has no 
history to which he can point with pride. There could 
be no greater mistake than this. If it had been in the 
power of modern historians of the Caucasian race to rob 
him of his history it would have been done. But the 
Holy Bible has stood as an everlasting rock in the black 
man's defense. God himself has determined that the 
black man shall not be robbed of his record which he 
has made during the ages. And here again we acknowl- 
edge with humility and thanksgiving our great obliga- 
tion to God for his goodness toward the race. At every 
step in this investigation we see plainly the hand divine 
interposed on our behalf ; and the more we investigate 
the subject the more deeply do we feel the obligation the 
race is under to love, fear, and serve that God who has 
so carefully watched over our destiny. 

The first and most illustrious of earth's historians has 
left on record statements which set forth the fact beyond 
reasonable doubt that an ancestor of the Negro race was 
the first of earth's great monarchs, and that that race 
ruled the world for more than a thousand years ; and the 
statements of Moses are confirmed by the testimonies of 


the earliest secular historians whose writings have come 
down to our time. Ethiopia and Egypt were first 
among the early monarchies, and these countries were 
peopled by the descendants of Ham, through Cush and 
Mizraim, and were governed by the same for hundreds 
of years. 

Palestine was peopled by Canaan, the younger son of 
Ham, upon whom the curse was pronounced, and, not- 
withstanding the curse, his posterity ruled that land for 
more than seven hundred years. They were in it when 
the promise of it was made to Abraham, and four hun- 
dred years later, when Israel came out of Egypt, they 
were still in full possession of it. And although the 
land was promised to Israel, yet two tribes, the Jebusites 
and Sidonians,* resisted the attacks of Israel for more 
than four hundred years after they entered upon their 
promised possessions. Neither Joshua nor the judges 
of Israel could drive them out ; not until David became 
king were the Jebusites driven out from the stronghold 
of Zion. It was from this ancient seat of the Jebusites, 
also called Salem, the seat of royalty and power, that 
Melchizedek, the most illustrious king, priest, and 
prophet of that race, came forth to bless Abraham, as 
seen in Gen. xiv, 18, 19. There have been many wild 
notions respecting this personage, for which there is no 
good reason. As Dr. Barnes says : 

" The account of this man in Genesis is as simple an historical record as 
any other in the Bible. In that account there is no difficulty whatever. It 
is said simply that when Abraham was returning from a successful military 
expedition this man, who, it seems, was well known,f and who was respect- 
ed as a priest of God Most High, came out to express his approbation of 

* The Sidonians were never driven out by the Israelites. 
" + So well known that no particular account of him was deemed necessary. 


what he had done and to refresh him with bread and wine. As a tribute 
of gratitude to him and a thank offering to God, Abraham gave him a 
tenth part of the spoils which he had taken. 

" Such an occurrence was by no means improbable; nor would it have been 
attended with any special difficulty if it had not been for the use which 
the apostle makes of it in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Yet on no subject 
has there been a greater variety of opinions than- in regard to this man. 
The bare recital of the opinions would fill a volume. But in a case which 
seems to be plain from the Scripture narrative it is not necessary even to 
enumerate these opinions. They only serve to show how easy it is for men 
to mystify a clear statement of history, and how fond they are of finding 
what is mysterious and marvelous in the plainest narrative of facts. 

" That he was Shem, as the Jews supposed,* or that he was the Son of 
God himself, as many Christian expositors have maintained, there is not 
the slightest evidence. That the latter opinion is false is perfectly clear ; 
for if he was the Son of God with what propriety could the apostle say 
that he ' was made like the Son of God ' — that is, like himself ; or that 
Christ was constituted a priest ' after the order of Melchizedek ' — that is, 
that he was a type of himself. The most simple and probable opinion is 
that given by Josephus : that he was a pious Canaanitish prince, a person 
eminently endowed by God, who acted as the priest of his people. That 
he combined within himself the offices of priest and king furnished to the 
apostle a beautiful illustration of the offices sustained by the Redeemer, as 
he was, in this respect, perhaps the only one whose history is recorded in 
the Old Testament who would furnish such an illustration. That his gen- 
ealogy was not recorded, while that of every other priest mentioned was 
carefully traced and preserved, furnished another striking illustration.! In 
this respect, like the Son of God, he stood alone ; he was not in the line of 
priests ; he was preceded by no one in the sacerdotal office, nor was he 
followed by any. That he was superior to Abraham and consequently to 
all who descended from Abraham ; that a tribute was rendered to him by 
the great ancestor of the fraternity of Jewish priests, was also an illustra- 
tion which suited the purpose of Paul." — Dr. Albert Barnes, "Notes on 
Hebrews," chap. vii. 

We have copied so much from Dr. Barnes's Commen- 
tary for two reasons: 1. Because his opinion agrees with 
what appeared to us to be the natural conclusion when we 

*That is, some of the Jews, not all ; for their ablest historian, Josephus, 
as Dr. Barnes remarks, states that he was a pious Canaanite. 

tWhat Dr. Barnes here mentions is evidently what the apostle means by 
his being without father, etc. His genealogy was not recorded. 


first read the account of Melchizedek in Josephus, more 
than thirty years ago. 2. Because we wished to show 
that in the opinion we have advanced we are supported by 
one of the ablest Bible expounders of our time. Barnes 
is a standard author ; his Commentaries have been adopted 
by, the Presbyterian Board. Those who wish to see what 
further he has to say can consult his notes on Heb. vii, 
also his notes on Psalm ex, 4. It seems impossible to 
reach any other conclusion than that Melchizedek was 
king of the Jebusites ; they took possession of that land 
when the posterity of Noah was dispersed from Babel. 
At the time that Abraham met Melchizedek they had 
been in possession of it for nearly three hundred and fifty 
years, and they remained in possession of it for eight 
hundred years more. 

Salem, the seat of government, was the same which 
was also called Jerusalem. Josephus positively states 
this, and Dr. Barnes says it is the almost universal opin- 
ion. The change, it is generally agreed, comes from the 
name of the inhabitants — the Jebusites — Jebus being 
changed to Jerus, and that to Jerusalem. In Psalm 
lxxvi, 1,2, Jerusalem is called Salem: " In Judah is God 
known : his name is great in Israel. In Salem also is his 
tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion." 

Rahab and Tamar were both Canaanites, and both, 
also, the ancestors of the world's Redeemer. It is not 
quite certain that the Canaanites were black ; but there 
can be no doubt, that they descended from Ham, the 
father of the black race; and "Cussed be Canaan" is 
a favorite text with those who delight in the idea of 
Negro inferiority. One may remark that some have 


claimed that the curse upon Canaan extended to the 
whole race of Ham ; upon what grounds this claim 
is set up we have never been able to discover except 
the desire to have it so. The natural conclusion, it 
seems to us, if we want to make anything - more of it 
than the simple historical statement that Noah cursed 
his grandson for his son's misconduct, would be that 
Noah was led to take this plan to avoid the idea that the 
rest of Ham's posterity was affected by the curse. In 
naming the younger son we would naturally get the idea 
that the curse was to fall upon the smaller portion of 
Ham's race. To our mind this was a prediction which 
was fulfilled when Joshua led Israel into the promised 
land, "Servant of servants shall he be." To whatever 
extent the Canaanites served the Israelites, who them- 
selves had just come from servitude, this prediction was 
fulfilled, and that was to no very great extent. They 
were driven out of the land and exterminated to a con- 
siderable extent, but they were not made slaves in any 
considerable numbers. 

The promise of God was not that Israel should make 
slaves of them — he has never sanctioned slavery — but 
his promise was to drive them out, not all at once, but 
little by little. ' ' I will send the hornet before thee, which 
shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, 
from before thee. I will not drive them out from before 
thee in one year ; lest the land become desolate, and the 
beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and 
little I will drive them out from before thee. . . . Thou 
shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. 
They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin 


against me : for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be 
a snare unto thee." See Exod. xxiii, 28-33. 

And yet Israel did make a covenant with them, and 
in that the prophecy of Noah was fulfilled. Israel did 
serve their gods, and they were ensnared, and therefore 
were never able to drive out all the Canaanites. Re- 
specting the covenant that Israel made with the Ca- 
naanites (see Josh, ix), the inhabitants of Gibeon came 
to Joshua and made him believe that they lived in 
a country far from him, and he made a covenant with 
them by which the princes of the Israelites agreed to 
spare their lives, and they agreed to be hewers of wood 
and drawers of water for Israel ; and thus of their own 
volition they became the servants of a people who had 
just come from bondage. And thus was fulfilled the 
prophecy of Noah, " Servant of servants shall he be," etc. 

This, however, was a very small portion of Canaan's 
race ; enough, indeed, to fulfill the prophecy, but not 
enough to make the noise about that Negro haters have 
been making for the last two or three hundred years. 

God promised to drive out the Canaanites, that Israel 
might inhabit the land free from the snares of idolatry, 
but God's promise was conditional. To avoid the dan- 
gerous increase of wild beasts a portion of the Canaanites 
were permitted to remain until Israel had sufficiently 
increased to populate the land. During this period of 
joint occupancy the Israelites were required to keep them- 
selves from idolatry and from all entangling alliances 
with the Canaanites. The Israelites failed in both these 
requirements ; they worshiped the idols and married 
the sons and daughters of the Canaanites. Hence God 


did not drive out all of the Canaanites, and Israel could 
not drive them out. "And the anger of the Lord was 
hot against Israel ; and he said, Because that this people 
hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their 
fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice ; I also 
will not henceforth drive out any from before them of 
the nations which Joshua left when he died " (Judg. ii, 
20, 21). 

We have already mentioned the fact that the Jebusites 
held their stronghold till David came to the throne ; their 
dislodgment was then necessary to the accomplishment 
of the divine purpose ; but the Sidonians, descendants of 
the elder son of Canaan, including the Tyrians, were 
never driven out by the Israelites. They, with their 
kindred, the Carthaginians, were the most powerful 
maritime nations of their time. The Philistines, who 
gave Israel more trouble than any other of the nations 
in that land, were the descendants of Ham through 

As an evidence of the strength and valor of the nations 
with which Israel had to contend in the land of Canaan, 
we have the fact that, during the four hundred years in 
which the judges ruled, Israel was in bondage more than 
seventy years to those nations. It was not weakness 
nor the want of courage on the part of the Canaanites, 
nor the superiority of the Israelites, which gave Israel a 
habitation in that land ; but God had a purpose in the 
interest of humanity, and the idolatry of the Canaanites 
rendered them suitable objects upon which to operate in 
the carrying out of that purpose. 

Historians tell a story of the Tyrians and Carthaginians 


which is most creditable to both : ' ' When Alexander 
was besieging Tyre the Tyrians took that which they 
valued most highly, their wives and little children, and 
sent them to Carthage, and although the Carthaginians 
were engaged in war they received them and succored 
them with parental care." Caucasian civilization can 
point to nothing that exceeds this gallantry on the one 
side and generosity on the other. Considering the 
period at which this occurred it indicates a marvelous 
degree of advancement in the knowledge of what is due 
to the family. 

Carthage has contributed to the honor of the Negro 
race not only in this, but also in producing one of the 
most renowned warriors that has ever appeared upon a 
field of battle. Of course we refer to Hannibal ; but be- 
sides him there was another, less renowned, it is true, 
but greater in that he was both statesman and warrior. 
We refer to Hamilcar, the father of Hannibal. He took 
Hannibal at nine years of age and taught him the art of 
war. He had the ability to unite the forces for victory ; 
the lack of this was Hannibal's misfortune and the ruin 
of Carthage. But in boldness, in courage, and in the 
splendid management of his forces Hannibal has had no 
superior and but few equals since man began to fight. 

Hannibal also possessed some ability as a statesman. 
History informs us that upon one occasion by a persua- 
sive speech he brought the Carthaginian senate to a 
unanimous agreement on an important matter on which 
there had been a disagreement. He feared that if the 
senate was not unanimous there would be dissensions 
among the people. 


Carthage also gave to the world in the persons of St. 
Augustine and St. Cyprian two of the ablest ministers 
of which the Christian Church can boast. The simple 
mention of these names is all that any man at all ac- 
quainted with Church history needs. That the Phoeni- 
cians, who were the founders of Carthage in union with 
original Africans, were the descendants of Canaan, there 
ought to be no question ; but since everything honorable 
to the Negro race is questioned we will simply give the 
testimony of Rollin.* He says: "The Canaanites are 
certainly the same people who are called, almost always, 
Phoenicians by the Greeks, for which name no reason can 
be given, any more than the oblivion of the true one." 
Thus it is seen that up to Rollin's time there was no ques- 
tion as to the fact that the Phoenicians were Canaanites. 
Rollin did not know why this, instead of the true name, 
was given ; neither do we know ; but we may easily con- 
jecture that, since it was the Greeks that gave this name 
instead of the true one, it may have been their purpose 
to hide the fact that the people to whom they were so 
greatly indebted were the descendants of the accursed 
son of Ham. This would be in perfect accord with the 
conduct of the Caucasian race to-day. 

We have also the testimony of Dr. Barnes that the 
Phoenicians were descended from the Canaanites. In 
his notes on Matt, xv, 22, of the woman of Canaan 
who met Jesus on the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he says : 
"This woman is called also a Greek, a Syrophcenician 
by birth (Mark vii, 26). Anciently the whole land, in- 
cluding Tyre and Sidon, was in the possession of the 
* Rollin, book i, p. 160. 


Canaanites, and called Canaan. The Phoenicians were 
descended from the Canaanites. The country, including 
Tyre and Sidon, was called Phoenicia, or Syrophcenicia ; 
that country was taken by the Greeks under Alexander 
the Great, and these cities in the time of Christ were 
Greek cities. This woman was therefore a Gentile, liv- 
ing under the Greek government and probably speaking 
that language. She was by birth a Syrophcenician, 
born in that country, and descended therefore from the 
ancient Canaanites." 

On the same text Dr. Abbott says: " The term Canaan 
was the older title of the country, and the inhabitants 
were successively termed Canaanites and Phoenicians, as 
the inhabitants of England were successively called Brit- 
ons and Englishmen." 

Of Carthage we may remark that through all the hun- 
dreds of years of its existence as an independent gov- 
ernment it remained a republic. Rollin, speaking of its 
government, says : 

" The government of Carthage was founded upon principles of most con- 
summate wisdom ; and it is with reason that Aristotle ranks this republic 
in the number of those that were had in the greatest esteem by the an- 
cients, and which were fit to serve as a model for others. He grounds his 
opinion on a reflection which does great honor to Carthage by remarking 
that from the foundation to his time (that is, upward of five hundred years) 
no considerable sedition had disturbed the peace nor any tyrant oppressed 
the liberty of the State. Indeed, mixed governments, such as that of 
Carthage, where the power was divided betwixt the nobles and the people, 
are subject to the inconveniences either of degenerating into an abuse of 
liberty by the seditions of the populace, as frequently happened in Athens 
and in all the Grecian republics, or in the oppression of the public 
liberty by the tyranny of the nobles, as in Athens, Syracuse, Corinth, 
Thebes, and Rome itself under Sylla and Caesar. It is therefore giving 
Carthage the highest praise to observe that it had found out the art, 
by the wisdom of its laws and the harmony of the different parts of its 


government, to shun during so long a series of years two rocks that are so 
dangerous and on which others so often split. It were to be wished that 
some ancient author had left us an accurate and regular description of the 
customs and laws of the famous republic." 

While we agree with Rollin in his lament of the want 
of a more complete history of that ancient Negro repub- 
lic, yet if those Caucasians who are wont to arrogate to 
themselves all the excellencies of this world, and to deny 
that the Negro ever has been great or ever can be, 
would take time to read what has been written, with 
sufficient care to understand it, they would lose some of 
their self-conceit and add much to their store of knowl- 

Having touched briefly upon the history of the poster- 
ity of Ham through his younger son, we shall now take 
a brief view of the greatness of that posterity as it is 
seen in his descendants through his second son, Mizraim. 
That the ancient Egyptians were black both the Holy 
Scriptures and the discoveries of science, as also the most 
ancient history, most fully attest. But as some profess 
to have doubts on this point we shall take some testi- 
mony which we think no fair-minded man will attempt 
to dispute. 

The psalmist calls to memory the wonders which God 
wrought for his people, and celebrates in song his deal- 
ings with Israel in Egypt, and frequently calls Egypt the 
land of Ham. How can this be accounted for if Egypt 
was not peopled by the posterity of Ham ? But he goes 
further than this ; he calls their dwellings the tabernacles 
of Ham. He "smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the 
chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham " 


(Psalm lxxviii, 51). " Israel also came into Egypt; and 
Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham" (Psalm cv, 23). " He 
sent Moses his servant, and Aaron whom he had chosen. 
They set among them his signs, and wonders in the land 
of Ham " (Psalm cv, 26, 27). "They forgat God their sav- 
iour, which had done great things in Egypt ; wondrous 
works in the land of Ham " (Psalm xvi, 21, 22). 

The man who, after reading these passages, can doubt 
that the Egyptians, to whom Israel was in bondage, were 
the descendants of Ham is beyond the reach of reason. 
The repetition seems designed to settle this fact beyond 
question. We might add, if it were necessary, that the 
Book of Canticles is an allegory based upon Solomon's 
affection for his beautiful black wife, the daughter of. 
Pharaoh, King of Egypt. 

In the sixty-eighth psalm we have a prophecy which 
connects Egypt with Ethiopia, as follows : ' ' Princes shall 
come out of Egypt, Ethiopia shall soon stretch forth her 
hands unto God." 

Rollin, in speaking of the- fact that all callings in 
Egypt were honorable, gives this as a probable reason, 
that "as they all descended from Ham,* their common 
father, the memory of their still recent origin occurring 
to the minds of all in those first ages, established among 
them a kind of equality, and stamped, in their opinion, 
a nobility on every person descended from the common 
stock." f 

Again, treating of the history of the kings of Egypt, 
Rollin says : ' ' The ancient history of Egypt comprises 

* Rollin calls him " Cham." 

t See Ancient Hisiory, by Charles Rollin, vol. i, p. 1 52. 


two thousand one hundred and fifty-eight years, and is 
naturally divided into three periods. The first begins 
with the establishment of the Egyptian monarchy by 
Menes or Mizraim, the son of Ham, in the year of the 
world 1 8 16.* 

On the next page he says of Ham : ' ' He had four 
children, Cush, Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan." After speak- 
ing of the settlement of the other sons he returns to Miz- 
raim and says : ' ' He is allowed to be the same as Menes, 
whom all historians declare to be the first king of Egypt." 

In speaking of the settlement of the sons of Ham, Rol- 
lin says: " Cush settled in Ethiopia, Mizraim in Egypt, 
which generally is called in Scripture after his name and 
by that of Cham (Ham), his father; Phut took possession 
of that part of Africa which lies westward of Egypt, and 
Canaan of that country which afterward bore his name." 

That ancient Egypt was the seat of the arts and 
sciences there can be no doubt; the evidences of this 
still remain. The cities built by the early kings of Egypt 
have been the wonder of all succeeding ages. 

Sesostris stands at the head of the list of the great 
Egyptian warriors. Rollin says : 

" His father, whether by inspiration, caprice, or, as the Egyptians say, by 
the authority of an oracle, formed the design of making his son a con- 
queror. This he set about after the Egyptian manner ; that is, in a great 
and noble way. All the male children born on the same day with Sesos- 
tris were by the king ordered brought to court. Here they were educated 
as if they had been his own children, with the same care as was bestowed 
on Sesostris, with whom they were brought up. He could not possibly 
have given him more faithful ministers nor officers who more zealously 
desired the success of his arms. The chief part of their education was 
inuring them from infancy to a hard and laborious life, in order that they 
might one day be capable of sustaining with ease the toils of war. 

* See vol. i, p. 161. 



" Sesostris was taught by Mercury, a native Egyptian, whom the Greeks 
pronounced thrice great. The instruction included politics and the art of 
government. His first venture in war was against the Arabians, whom he 
subdued ; a nation which had never before been conquered. He next in- 
vaded Libya and subdued the greater part of that country. At the death 
of his father he felt himself capable of undertaking the greatest enterprises. 
. . . He formed no less a design than the conquest of the world. But 
before he left his kingdom he provided for his domestic security in win- 
ning the hearts of his subjects by his generosity and justice, and a popular, 
obliging behavior. He was no less studious to gain the affection of his' 
officers and soldiers, whom he wished to be ever ready to shed the last 
drop of their blood in his service, persuaded that his enterprises would all 
be unsuccessful unless his army should be attached to his person by all 
the ties of esteem, affection, and interest. He divided the country into 
thirty-six governments (called Nomi), and bestowed them on persons of 
merit and the most approved fidelity. In the meantime he made the 
requisite preparation, levied forces, and headed them with officers of the 
greatest bravery and reputation ; and these were taken chiefly from among 
the youths who had been educated with him. He had seventeen hundred 
of these officers, who were all capable of inspiring his troops with resolu- 
tion, a love of discipline, and a zeal for the service of their prince. His 
army consisted of 600,000 foot and 24,000 horse, besides 27,000 armed 

"He began his expedition by invading Ethiopia, situated on the south of 
Egypt. He made it tributary and obliged the nations to furnish him 
annually a certain quantity of ebony, ivory, and gold. 

" He fitted out a fleet of four hundred sail and ordered it to advance to the 
Red Sea, made himself master of the isles and cities lying on the coast of 
the sea. He himself leading the army, he overran and subdued Asia with 
amazing rapidity, and advanced farther into India than Hercules, Bac- 
chus, and in after times Alexander himself ever did ; for he subdued the 
countries beyond the Ganges and advanced as far as the ocean. One- 
may judge from hence how unable the more neighboring nations were to 
resist him. The Scythians, as far as the river Tonais, as well as Armenia 
and Cappadocia, were conquered. He left a colony in the ancient kingdom 
of Colchos, situated to the east of the Black Sea, where the Egyptian cus- 
toms and manners have been ever since retained. 

" Herodotus saw in Asia Minor, from one sea to the other, monuments I 
of his victories. In several countries was read the following inscription 
engraved on pillars : ' Sesostris, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, sub- 
dued this country by the power of his arms.' Such pillars were found 
even in Thrace, and his empire extended from the Ganges to the Danube. 
. . . The scarcity of provision in Thrace stopped the progress of his con- 


quests and prevented his advancing further into Europe. . . . He re- 
turned, therefore, laden with the spoils of the vanquished nations, drag- 
ging after him a numberless multitude of captives, and covered with 
greater glory than any of his predecessors ; that glory, I mean, which em- 
ploys so many tongues and pens in its praise ; which consists in invading 
a great number of provinces in a hostile way and is often productive of 
numberless calamities. He rewarded his officers and soldiers with a truly 
royal magnificence, in proportion to their rank and merit. He made it 
both his pleasure and duty to put the companions of his victory in such a 
condition as might enable them to enjoy during the remainder of their 
days a calm and easy repose, the just reward of their past toils. With re- 
gard to himself, forever careful of his own reputation, and still more of 
making his power advantageous to his subjects, he employed the repose 
which peace allowed him in raising works that might contribute more to 
the enriching of Egypt than the immortalizing of his own name ; works 
in which art and industry of the workmen were more admired than the 
immense sums which had been expended on them." 

In the face of these indisputable facts of history, 
Mede says : ' ' There never has been a son of Ham who 
hath shaken a scepter over Japheth ; Shem hath subdued 
Japheth and Japheth subdued Shem, but Ham never sub- 
dued either." 

Mede's historical researches must have been barren of 
results, or he must have forgotten many things. It is. 
amazing what an amount of ignorance and stupidity 
race prejudice, conceit, and arrogance are responsible for. 

Gardner says: "It is to the Caucasian race that the 
history of the world must mainly confine itself, for with 
that race originated almost all that ennobles and digni- 
fies mankind." 

Another outburst of Caucasian wind. These thought- 
less scribes shut their eyes to the fact that the race of 
Ham dominated the world for nearly, if not quite, fifteen 
hundred years. They shut their eyes to the fact that 
for fifteen hundred years more dominion was constantly 


shifting, and no one race held undisputed sway. For the 
last two thousand years the ascending star of empire has 
been with the Caucasian races ; Japheth, the last, has 
become first. 

The facts recorded by Rollin concerning Sesostris are 
not at all liable to the suspicion of having been colored 
by his admiration of that great prince. Rollin indicates 
very clearly the absence of admiration ; he not only ques- 
tions that kind of glory which historians accorded to 
Sesostris, but also criticises his vanity, as follows : 

" Sesostris might have been considered as one of the most illustrious and 
most boasted heroes of antiquity had not the luster of his warlike actions, 
as well as pacific virtues, been dimmed by a thirst of glory and a blind 
fondness for his own grandeur which made him forget that he was a man. 
The kings and chiefs of the conquered nations came at stated times to 
do homage to their victor and pay him the appointed tribute ; on every 
other occasion he treated them with sufficient humanity and generosity, 
but when he went to the temple or entered his capital he caused these 
princes to be harnessed to his car, four abreast, instead of horses, and 
valued himself upon his being thus drawn by the lords and sovereigns of 
other nations. What I am most surprised at is that Diodemus should rank 
this foolish and inhuman vanity among the most shining acts of this prince." 

Thus it is seen that Rollin was ready to censure even 
where others praised Sesostris. As a Christian, Rollin 
was compelled to condemn this unparalleled exhibition of 
human vanity. At the same time his statement of the 
fact indicates the high esteem in which this prince was 
held. That the lords of those conquered nations sub- 
mitted to thus dishonor themselves to do him honor 
shows how completely he was master of the situation. 
It indicates more than this : it indicates the wonderful 
wisdom and power of that black prince, in that he was 
able, through a long reign, to hold these chiefs in faith- 
ful allegiance without a single revolt. 


The record given by Rollin indicates that Sesostris was 
among the wisest, as well as among the most powerful, 
monarchs of earth. Napoleon was a great warrior, but 
he died in exile, a prisoner of war. Alexander was a 
great general, but he made a foolish march across a des- 
ert country, almost to the destruction of his army, for the 
foolish purpose of worshiping at the shrine and of being 
called the son of Jupiter Ammon. This so discouraged 
his forces that he never accomplished the object of his 
ambition. For this many of his command despised him. 

Sesostris made no such blunders in his campaigns. He 
went forth conquering until he met a providential inter- 
position ; his climax of wisdom was displayed in his turn- 
ing back when he discovered that not merely mortal be- 
ings, but the great Immortal, opposed his further con- 
quest. He returned to his own country to enjoy, in peace 
and prosperity, the fruits of his unparalleled victories. 
His conduct toward those cities which resisted his attacks 
most stubbornly was in striking contrast to that of Alex- 
ander ; as Alexander advanced to invade Egypt he found 
at Gaza a garrison so strong that he was obliged to be- 
siege it. It held out a long time, during which he re- 
ceived two wounds ; this provoked him to such a degree 
that when he had captured the place he treated the sol- 
diers and inhabitants most cruelly. He cut ten thousand 
men to pieces and sold all the rest, with their wives and 
children, for slaves. His treatment of Betis, the com- 
mandant of the forces, was the most shameful of any- 
thing recorded in history. Sesostris, on the other hand, 
was pleased with those who defended their possessions, 
most bravely ; the degree of resistance which he had to 


overcome was denoted by him in hieroglyphical figures 
on monuments. The more stubborn the resistance the 
greater the achievement and the more worthy the people 
to become his subjects. Respecting the foolish march of 
Alexander which we have mentioned, the following, from 
Rollin, will explain : 

"At Memphis he formed a design of visiting the temple of Jupiter Am- 
nion ; this temple was situated in the midst of the sandy deserts of Libya, 
and twelve days' journey from Memphis. Ham, the son of Noah, first 
peopled Egypt and Libya after the flood ; and when idolatry began to 
gain ground in the world some time after he was the chief deity of those 
countries in which his descendants had continued. A temple was built to 
his honor in the midst of these deserts, upon a spot of pretty good ground, 
about two leagues broad,* which formed a kind of island in a sea of sand. It 
is he whom the Greeks call Jupiter and the Egyptians Ammon. In process 
of time these two names were joined, and he was called Jupiter Ammon. 

" The motive of this journey, which was equally rash and dangerous, was 
owing to a ridiculous vanity. Alexander having read in Homer and other 
fabulous authors of antiquity that most of their heroes were represented 
as the sons of some deity, and as he himself was desirous of passing for a 
hero, he was determined to have some god for his father. Accordingly, 
he fixed upon Jupiter Ammon for this purpose, and began by bribing the 
priests and teaching them the part they were to act. . . . Alexander had a 
journey to go of sixteen hundred stadia, or eighty French leagues, to the 
temple of Jupiter Ammon, and most of the way through sandy deserts. 
The soldiers were patient enough for the first two days' march, before they 
arrived in the extensive, dreadful solitudes ; but as soon as they found them- 
selves in vast plains, covered with sands of prodigious depth, they were 
greatly terrified. . . . 

" They were several days in crossing these deserts, and upon arriving near 
the place where the oracle stood they perceived a great number of ravens 
flying before the most advanced standard. These ravens sometimes flew 
to the ground when the army marched slowly, and at other times advanced 
forward, as if it were to serve them as guides, till they at last came to the 
temple of the god. A surprising circumstance is that, although this ora- 
cle is situated in the midst of an almost boundless solitude, it neverthe- 
less is surrounded with a grove so very shady that the sunbeams can 
scarcely pierce it, not to mention that this grove or wood is watered with 
several springs of fresh water, which preserve it in perpetual verdure. 

* About five miles. 


" It is related that near this grove there is another, in the midst of which 
is a fountain called the Water of the Sun. At daybreak it is lukewarm ; at 
noon cool, but in the evening it grows warmer and at midnight is boiling 
hot ; after this as day approaches it decreases in heat, and continues this 
vicissitude forever. The god who is worshiped in this temple is not rep- 
resented under the form which painters and sculptors generally give to 
gods, for he is made of emeralds and other precious stones, and from head 
to navel resembles a ram. 

"The king being come into the temple, the senior priest declared him to 
be the son of Jupiter, and assured him that God himself bestowed this name 
upon him. Alexander accepted it with joy and acknowledged Jupiter his 
father. He afterward asked the priest whether his father Jupiter had not 
allotted him the empire of the world ; to which the priest, who was as much 
a flatterer as the king was vainglorious, answered that he should be mon- 
arch of the universe. At last he inquired whether all his father's * mur- 
derers had been punished ; but the priest replied that he blasphemed, 
that his father was immortal, but that with regard to the murderers of 
Philip, they had all been expiated, adding that he should be invincible, and 
afterward take his seat among the deities. Having ended his sacrifices, 
he offered magnificent presents to the god, and did not forget the priests 
who had been so faithful to his interests. 

" Decorated with the splendid title of the son of Jupiter, and fancying 
himself raised above the human species, he returned from his journey as 
from a triumph. From that time, in all his letters, his orders and decrees, he 
always wrote the following : ' Alexander King, Son of Jupiter Ammon.' " 

If the fact that Sesostris had his chiefs to take the place 
of horses in conveying - him to the temple was vain and 
foolish, what shall be said of the vanity of Alexander in 
this exploit ? But I have transcribed this passage for 
the purpose of calling attention to the fact that there 
could have been no such prejudice against the Negro, 
Ham, at that day, as his race endures to-day. There 
could have been no thought that he was inferior to Shem 
or Japheth, for here we see the most distinguished of the 
warriors descending from Japheth renouncing his own 
race and his own father and claiming Ham, deified, for 
his father. 

* Philip. 


We can hardly think that Alexander was so ignorant 
as not to know in whose honor and to whose memory this 
god was erected. The country in which he was situated, 
his black priests, and all the circumstances surrounding 
him rendered it impossible for Alexander to escape the 
knowledge of his identity. This ought to satisfy any 
reasonable mind that the race of Ham must some time 
have been uppermost among the sons of men. 

Cadmus, who invented letters and took them to Greece, 
is admitted to have been either Egyptian or Phoenician 
(both claimed him) ; it does not matter which, he was a 
descendant of Ham ; and he may have descended from 
both by intermarriage. 

The ancient greatness of Ham's descendants on the 
line of his elder son, Cush, is most strikingly set forth by 
Moses in the Book of Genesis. The record is as follows : 
' ' Cush begat Nimrod : he began to be a mighty one in 
the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord. 
. . . And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and 
Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 
Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, 
and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, and Resen between 
Nineveh and Calah : the same is a great city." 

The sacred historian generally in recording facts on 
this side of the flood gives only a particular account of 
the posterity of Shem, and enlarges upon facts respecting 
other nations only in some relation to Shem's posterity. 
The passage just quoted is a departure from this rule, 
and the reason for the special prominence given to this 
distinguished Ethiopian is far to seek unless it was 
Jehovah's purpose that a despised race, in generations 


following, should thus be able to point to the greatness 
of its ancestry. 

Take this record, found in the tenth chapter of Genesis, 
and you will notice that nearly one fourth of the chapter 
is taken up with the account of this one man. It is the 
chapter in which Moses gives the settlements of the 
generations of Noah ; all that is said of more than fifty 
heads of families is contained in this chapter ; but, as we 
have noticed, Nimrod gets the lion's share, and is made to 
appear more distinguished for his greatness and mighty 
achievements than any other man from the time of Noah 
to that of Abraham. The historian could not have given 
him greater prominence, and the fact that Moses wrote 
by inspiration heightens the significance of the record 
and adds to the distinction of this ancient black hero. 
We may remark, however, that Moses, having married a 
black woman, was not averse to doing justice to her race, 
a thing which cannot be said of modern historians. 

In this record it is seen that Nimrod was the first of 
earth's great monarchs ; the first to erect a great empire, 
the first to bring other nation's under his control. He 
was the beginning or first of mighty ones among men, 
and also a mighty hunter before the Lord. He was the 
greatest man that lived during a period of several hun- 
dred years. His might was proverbial, so that it was 
said, "as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord," 
or "as Nimrod the mighty one." His might is not only 
expressed in this language, but it is seen in the extent 
of his empire and in the numerous cities he built ; it is 
also seen in the duration of his empire, for the govern- 
ment continued in his posterity for hundreds of years. 


Among his successors were not only some of the mightiest 
men that ever ruled, but also a woman who led to victory 
the largest army ever marshaled by a female. We refer 
to Semiramis. It was she to whom Alexander referred 
when he admitted that a woman had performed mightier 
achievements in a certain land than he had. 

This Babylonian or Chaldean empire, established by 
Nimrod and enlarged and embellished, by his successors, 
was the head of gold in the image seen by Nebuchadnez- 
zar in his dream, which went from him and was recalled 
by the prophet Daniel. It had for hundreds of years al- 
most universal dominion. In support of this position we 
once more turn to Rollin, book iii, chapter i : 

" The Assyrian empire was undoubtedly one of the most powerful in the 
world. As to the length of its duration two particular opinions have 
chiefly prevailed. Some authors, as Clesias, whose opinion is followed by 
Justor, give it a duration of thirteen hundred years ; others reduce it to 
five hundred and twenty, of which number is Herodotus. The diminu- 
tion, or rather the interruption, of power which happened in this vast em- 
pire might possibly give occasion to this difference of opinion, and may 
perhaps serve in some measure to reconcile it. 

" The history of those early times is so obscure, the monuments which 
convey it down to us so contrary to each other, and the systems of the 
moderns upon that matter so different, that it is difficult to lay down any 
opinion about it as certain and incontestable. But where certainty is not 
to be had I suppose a reasonable person will be satisfied with probability ; 
and in my opinion a man can hardly be deceived if he makes the Assyrian 
empire equal in antiquity with the city of Babylon, its capital. 

" Now we learn from the Holy Scripture that this was built by Nimrod, 
who certainly was a great conqueror, and in all probability the first and 
most ancient of all those who have ever aspired after that denomination. 

" The Babylonians, as Callisthenes, a philosopher in Alexander's retinue, 
wrote to Aristotle, reckoned themselves to be at least of nineteen hundred 
and three years' standing when that prince entered triumphant into Baby- 
lon, which makes their origin reach back to the year of the world 177 1, 
that is to say, one hundred and fifteen years after the deluge. This com- 
putation comes within a few years of the time in which we suppose Nimrod 
to have founded that city. Indeed, this testimony of Callisthenes, as it 


does not agree with other accounts of that matter is not esteemed authen- 
tic by the learned; but the conformity we find between it and the Holy 
Scriptures should make us regard it. Upon these grounds we think we 
may allow Nimrod to have been the founder of the first Assyrian empire, 
which subsisted, with more or less extent and glory, upward of fourteen 
hundred and fifty years, from the time of Nimrod to that of Sardanapalus, 
the last king, that is to say, from the year of the world 1800 to the year 


" Nimrod : he is the same with Belus, who was afterward worshiped as a 
god under that appellation. He was the son of Cush, grandson of Ham, 
and great-grandson of Noah. He was, says the Scripture, ' a mighty 
hunter before the Lord.' In applying himself to this laborious and dan- 
gerous exercise he had two things in view : the first was to gain the peo- 
ple's affection by delivering them from the fury and dread of wild beasts ; 
the next was to train up numbers of young people by this exercise of hunt- 
ing to endure labor and hardship, to form them to the use of arms, to 
inure them to a kind of discipline and obedience, that at a proper time 
after they had been accustomed to his orders and seasoned to arms he 
might make use of them for other purposes more serious than hunting. 
In ancient history we find some footprints remaining of this artifice of 
Nimrod, whom the writers have confounded with Ninus, his son ; for 
Dodonus has these words: ' Ninus, the most ancient of the Assyrian kings 
mentioned in history, performed great actions ; being naturally of a warlike 
disposition and ambitious of the glory that results from valor, he armed a 
considerable number of young men that were brave and vigorous like him- 
self, trained them up for a long time in laborious exercises and hardships, and 
by that means accustomed them to bear the fatigues of war patiently and 
to face danger with courage and intrepidity.' 

" What the same author adds, that Ninus entered into alliance with the 
king of the Arabs and joined forces with him, is a piece of ancient tradi- 
tion which informs us that the sons of Cush, and by consequence the 
brothers of Nimrod, all settled themselves in Arabia, along the Persian 
Gulf, from Thavila to the ocean, and lived near enough to their brother to 
lend him succor or receive succor from him. And what the same his- 
torian further says of Ninus, that he was the first king of the Assyrians, 
agrees exactly with what the Scripture says of Nimrod, that he began to 
be mighty upon the earth ; that is, he procured himself settlements, built 
cities, subdued his neighbors, united different people under one and the 
same authority by the band of the same polity and the same laws, and 
formed them into one State, which, for those early times, was of a consid- 
erable extent, though bounded by the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, and 
which in succeeding ages made new acquisitions by degrees and at length 
extended its conquests very far. The capital city of this kingdom, says 


the Scripture, was Babylon. Most of profane historians ascribe the found- 
ing of Babylon to Semiramis ; others to Belus. It is evident that both the 
one and the other are mistaken, if they speak of the first founding of the 
city, for it owes its beginning neither to Semiramis nor Nimrod, but to the 
foolish vanity of those persons mentioned in Scripture who desired to build 
a tower and a city that should render their memory immortal. Josephus 
relates, upon the testimony of a sibyl (who must have been very ancient 
and whose fictions cannot be imputed to the indiscreet zeal of any Chris- 
tians), that the gods threw clown the tower by an impetuous wind or a vio- 
lent hurricane. Had this been the case Nim rod's temerity must have been 
much greater to rebuild a city and a tower which God himself had thrown 
down with such marks of his displeasure. But the Scripture says no such 
thing, and it is very probable the building remained in the condition it was 
when God put an end to the work by the confusion of their languages, and 
that the tower consecrated to Belus, which is described by Herodotus, was 
this very tower which the sons of men pretended to raise to the clouds. . . . 
" Nimrod was the first who encompassed it afterward with walls, settled 
therein his friends and confederates, and subdued those that lived round 
about it, beginning his empire in that place but not confining it to so narrow 
a compass. . . . Having possessed himself of the provinces of Asshur, he did 
not ravage them like a tyrant, but filled them with cities, and made him- 
self as much loved by his new subjects as he was by his old ones. . . . 
Among other cities he built one more large and magnificent than the rest, 
which he called Nineveh, from the name of his son Ninus, in order to im- 
mortalize his memory. The son in his turn, out of veneration for his father, 
was willing that they who had served him as their king should adore him 
as their god, and induce other nations to render him the same worship. 
For it appears plainly that Nimrod is the famous Belus of the Babylonians, 
the first king whom the people deified for his great actions." 

One difficulty with profane authors respecting- Nimrod 
is that they have overlooked the fact that he possessed 
himself of the land of Asshur, or Assyria ; and another 
is that one profane author, at some period, fell into the 
mistake of confounding the acts of Ninus with those of 
his father Nimrod, and others have copied the error. 
Like Rollin, we plant ourselves upon the Bible ; our first 
knowledge of ancient history was obtained from that 
source. Where it speaks at all it is the rule by which 
all must be squared ; where it is silent other creditable 


authorities are good ; but that which is in direct conflict 
with it must be error. The Bible, as we have seen, sets 
forth the greatness of Nimrod so clearly that he who 
reads * may run. There are some who think he is set 
forth in contrast to Abraham ; that Nimrod, in his lust 
for power, his vanity, ambition, and aggressiveness, was 
the representative of those who have their portion in this 
world, while Abraham was the representative of those 
who acknowledge themselves strangers and sojourners 
here on earth and are seeking a better country. 

The testimony which might be gathered in support of 
the position we have taken respecting the ancient great- 
ness of Ham's posterity would fill a volume ; but the lim- 
its of the plan of this book forbid a more extended con- 
sideration of the subject. If what is here written shall 
induce those who come after us — whose better opportu- 
nities will enable them to give the subject a more learned 
consideration — to go to the bottom of this matter, our 
reward will be ample. Those who take issue with us 
will, we think, be compelled to pay more attention to the 
subject than historians generally are wont to do. Those 
who may be inclined to combat our position will ask, 
" If the race of Ham was once so great why is it now so 
small? Why is it that the race everywhere is so de- 
graded, so ignorant, and so wretched?" 

The answer is not far to seek. Ham forsook God and 
took the world for his portion. The language of Abra- 
ham addressed to the rich man in torment might well be 
addressed to Ham: "Son, remember that thou in thy 
lifetime receivedst thy good things." Ham had his day, 

* Hab. ii, 2. 


and made very bad use of it. For fifteen hundred years 
he possessed the earth through his posterity, and what 
did he do with it? He led the nations into idolatry. 
He began at Babel, in Nimrod his grandson, to exhibit 
his daring impiety. God had said, " Go forth, multiply, 
and replenish the earth" (Gen. viii, 16; ix, i). Nimrod 
said, " No, let us not do that. It is not well for us to 
get scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 
'Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly,' 
and 'let us build us a city' (here in Shinar), and let us 
erect 'a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven ' (that 
we may see it at any distance, that it may serve as a 
rallying point, a center of gravity around which all our 
interests shall cluster) ; ' and let us make us a name, lest 
we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth ' ' 
(Gen. xi, 3, 4). 

Of course in this great empire, of which this city was 
to be the center, Nimrod was to be the sovereign. He 
was to take the place of the Almighty in the hearts and 
affections of the people. He was not a tyrant in the 
ordinary sense of that term ; he was a bold, fearless, 
scheming political boss. He was the more dangerous 
and the more successful because of his extraordinary 
sagacity ; by his graceful address, his wonderful physical 
powers, his energy and dash, he won the hearts of the 
people and swayed them at his will, just as scheming 
political bosses do now. The purpose of God was to 
scatter them ; the purpose of Nimrod was to hold them 
together for his own aggrandizement. So God said, 
" Go to, let us go down, and there confound their lan- 
guage, that they may not understand one another's speech. 


So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the 
face of all the earth " (Gen. xi, 7, 8). 

Although Moses does not mention the fact, yet we 
think it quite probable that the difference in complexion, 
as well as language, had its origin in connection with 
this purpose of God to scatter the nations over the whole 
earth. It was not to hinder the building of a city that 
God confounded their languages, but to scatter them. 
For God said, "Nothing will be restrained from them 
which they have imagined to do " (Gen. xi, 6). But so 
long as they are one people and one language they will 
continue to hang together. Those who could understand 
each other remained together. Many remained with 
Nimrod, who began his kingdom there ; notwithstanding 
the displeasure which God had shown respecting his con- 
duct, he was determined to make himself a name there. 
He made the name: Baal, Bel, Belus; which in time be- 
came Baal-berith, Baal-gad, Baal-moloch, Baal-peor, 
Baal-zebub, etc. This was the name he made, and not 
only his own race, but all the nations of the earth for- 
sook God and went a-whoring after it. 

Richard Watson, in his Biblical and Theological Diction- 
ary, page 116, after speaking of the general use of the 
term Baal among the Babylonians and Assyrians, the 
Phoenicians, Sidonians, Tyrians, Carthaginians, and other 
Canaanitish nations, says : 

" It is remarkable that we do not find the name Baal so much in popu- 
lar use east of Babylon ; but it was general west of Babylon and to the 
very extremity of western Europe, including the British Isles. The wor- 
ship of Baal, Bel, Belus, and Belenus was general throughout the British 
Islands, and certain of its rights and observances are still maintained among 
us, notwithstanding the establishment of Christianity during so many ages. 
A town in Perthshire, on the borders of the Highlands, is called Tilliebel- 


lane, or Tilliebellane ; that is, the eminence or rising ground of the fire of 
Baal. In the neighborhood is a Druidical temple of eight upright stones, 
where it is supposed the fire was kindled. At some distance from this is 
another temple of the same kind, but smaller; and near it a well still held 
in great veneration. On Beltane morning superstitious people go to this 
well and drink of it, then make a procession round it nine times, so deep- 
rooted is this heathenish superstition in the minds of many who reckon 
themselves good Protestants." 

Thus it is seen that the idolatry established by the 
posterity of Ham reached the uttermost regions of the 
Caucasian race. This is the great sin of Ham and his 
sons ; they were the originators and promoters of idola- 
try, the stench in God's nostrils, the thing of all most 
hateful and most hated by the sovereign God of all. 
The greatness which we have been ascribing to Ham's 
race is the earthly sort, that which profane writers of every 
race have extolled. It is from their standpoint that we 
have been writing. We claim that there is no true 
greatness outside of godliness. The mass of the ancient 
descendants of Ham were not godly, and therefore not 
truly great ; they were men who, as the psalmist says, 
have their portion in this life. Ham's race in early 
times produced a few exceptions to this rule. Melchizedek, 
before mentioned, was the most distinguished exception. 
In honor of his righteousness God blessed the Jebusites 
beyond other of the doomed nations, in that they were per- 
mitted to regain their stronghold of Zion for four hundred 
years after the entrance of Israel upon their promised pos- 
sessions. His righteous administration was long remem- 
bered and its influence long felt. Many of those who en- 
joyed his instructions and his priestly intercessions were 
probably induced to lead pious lives, and thus the knowl- 
edge of the true God was long retained among them. 


Rahab, who hid the spies, and became one of the an- 
cestors of the world's Redeemer, was a believer in the 
one only living and true God. There' were, no doubt, 
many others, but the mass were idolaters, and this is 
why the race has felt the divine displeasure. But the 
promise is that princes shall come out of Egypt, and that 
Ethiopia shall soon stretch forth her hands unto God. 
Whatever shall become of the two younger sons of Ham, 
this promise assures us that the two elder sons shall cast 
aside idolatry and return unto the Lord. That this 
prophecy is now in the course of fulfillment the Negro 
Church stands forth as unquestionable evidence. It is 
the streak of morning light which betokens the com- 
ing day. It is the morning star which precedes the 
rising sun. It is the harbinger of the rising glory of 
the sons of Ham. It is the first fruit of the countless 
millions of that race who shall be found in the army 
with banners in the millennial glory of the Christian 





We shall divide this part of the history into three 
periods : 

i. The Formation Period of Twenty-five Years, from 1796, 
at which time the African Methodist Episcopal Zion 
Church was formed in New York city, to 1 82 1 , at which 
time the itinerant system was fully established. 

2 . The Developing Period of Forty-two Years, from 1 82 1 
to 1863, the period at which the way was opened for the 
extension of the connection into the Southland. 

3. The Flourishing Period of Thirty-three Years, 1863 
to 1896, during - which period the membership increased 
from about five thousand to nearly half a million. 


The Formation Period of the African Methodist Episcopal 
Zion Church in America — Twenty-five Years, 1796 
to 1 82 1. 

The body of believers now known by this title was 
formed in the city of New York, State of New York, in 
the year A. D. 1796. Its title at its organization was 
"The African Methodist Episcopal Church." Under 
this title it was incorporated in the year 1 80 1 . The first 
church, at the corner of Church and Leonard Streets, was 
built the same year. This church was called Zion, hence 


the connection which grew out of this organization came 
to be called Zion, and for reasons we shall mention here- 
after Zion was finally incorporated as a part of the legat 

While as an organization separate from the Methodist 
Episcopal Church it dates only back to 1796, yet the 
existence of its nucleus as class or classes, in the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church, dates very much further back. 

We see in the Minutes of the Methodist Episcopal Con- 
ferences that the colored members met by themselves to 
hold class and prayer meetings as early as 1780, and that 
occasionally Mr. Asbury, or some one appointed by him, 
preached at the meetings. 

The major part of those who first formed the Zion 
Church had long been members of the John Street Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church, the parent church of that connec- 
tion ; some of them had been members of that church from 
its beginning. When these became a considerable num- 
ber they were permitted to hold meetings by themselves 
in the interval of the regular services. These meetings 
were regarded as prayer meetings, but the leaders fre- 
quently gave exhortations — in fact, did such preaching 
as their abilities permitted. Hence when the separate 
organization was formed there was a considerable num- 
ber of the brethren who were quite proficient speakers ; 
some of these were regularly licensed to exhort, and some 
to preach, even before the separate organization was 

From the foregoing it is seen that the founders of Zion 
Church as a body of Christian believers had an existence 
nearly as early as the formation of the John Street Church. 


:Susan Williams and her husband, Samuel Williams, were 
members of John Street Church from the time that 
church was first erected. If therefore we should date our 
Church from the time the members, as a body, began to 
hold separate meetings, we might have held our centen- 
nial celebration as early as 1880. But the objection to 
this is that the meetings were held in the name of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. The true date is the period 
at which the new title was taken, and at which time the 
meetings began to be held without any regard to the 
authority of the Methodist Episcopal Church, under the 
new organization. 

The services received from the ministers of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church after that period were governed 
and restricted by a written contract entered into by the 
Methodist Episcopal Church and the African Methodist 
Episcopal Church as separate organizations. The Zion 
Church had preachers of her own, called of God to preach, 
and qualified to perform all ministerial duties, so far as 
Heaven's authority was concerned. There are, however, 
human ceremonials which have the divine sanction ; 
these are not to be lightly put aside. Such was the sen- 
timent of the founders of Zion Connection. They were 
unwilling to take upon themselves the peculiar functions 
of the ministry without a regular ordination, according 
to the forms of the Church from which they sprang. 
Hoping that the bishops of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church would oblige them by ordaining some of their 
men, and thus enable them to carry out their purpose to 
evangelize the African race and form them into a body 
like the mother Church, but separate from it, they used 


every possible endeavor to maintain friendly relations 
with that Church. To maintain this friendly relation 
with that Church they entered into a contract with it to 
supply their pulpit and administer the ordinances. Their 
contract starts off as follows : 

"This article of agreement made this sixth day of April, 1801, between 
the Rev. John McCloskey, in behalf of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
of the United States of America, of one part, and the trustees of the 
African Methodist Episcopal Church, in the city of New York, of the 
other part, showeth for themselves and their successors in office," etc. 

This contract recognizes Zion Church as an independ- 
ent body, as fully competent to make a contract as the 
Methodist Episcopal Church itself. 

Under this contract Zion had the services of the min- 
isters of the Methodist Episcopal Church for about 
twenty years. It is remarkable how closely she followed 
in the footsteps of the mother Church in this respect. 
That Church was just twenty years without an ordained 
ministry ; the first Methodist meeting was held in New 
York in 1765, the first ministers were ordained in 1785. 
Mr. Asbury filled the position of general superintendent 
(under the title of general assistant) for several years 
before he was ordained to the ministry. In the Minutes 
of 1779, °f the Conference held in Kent County, Del., 
we find the following : 

" Question 12. Ought not Brother Asbury to act as general assistant in 
America ? 

"Answer. He ought : first, on account of his age; second, because origi- 
nally appointed by Mr. Wesley ; third, being joined with Messrs. Rankin 
and Shadford, by express order from Mr. Wesley. 

" Question 13. How far shall his power extend ? 

"Answer. On hearing every preacher for and against what is in debate, 
the right of determination shall rest with him, according to the Minutes." 


The ministers generally were called assistants (to 
Wesley) ; Asbury, general assistant. In the Minutes of 
the Conference held in Philadelphia in 1773 we find the 
following : 

" The following rules were agreed to by all the preachers present : 
"I. Every preacher who acts in connection with Mr. Wesley and the 
brethren who labor in America is strictly to avoid administering the ordi- 
nances of baptism and the Lord's Supper. 

" 2. All the people among whom we labor to be earnestly exhorted to 
attend the Church [of England] and receive the ordinances there." 

Mr. Wesley had authorized these men to preach, but 
not to administer the ordinances, and this rule was in 
keeping with his views and instructions. This will 
appear beyond question in the following extract of a let- 
ter which accompanied the appointment of Coke and 
Asbury as joint superintendents : 

"Bristol, September 10, 1784. 
" To Dr. Coke, Mr. Asbury, and the Brethren in North 
America : 

"1. By a very uncommon train of providences many of the provinces of 
North America are totally disjoined from the British empire and erected 
into independent States. The English government has no authority over 
them, either civil or ecclesiastical, any more than over the States of Holland. 

" A civil authority is exercised over them, partly by Congress and partly 
by the State Assemblies. But no one exercises or claims any ecclesias- 
tical authority at all. 

" In this peculiar situation some thousands of the inhabitants of these 
States desire my advice ; and in compliance with their desire I have drawn 
up a little sketch. 

" 2. Lord King's account of the primitive Church convinced me many 
years ago that bishops and presbyters are the same order, and conse- 
quently have the same right to ordain. For many years I have been im- 
portuned from time to time to exercise this right by ordaining part of our 
traveling preachers. But I have still refused, not only for peace' sake, but 
because I was determined as little as possible to violate the established 
order of the national Church to which I belonged. 

"3. But the case is widely different between England and North Amer- 
ica. Here there are bishops who have legal jurisdiction ; in America there 


are none, and but few parish ministers. So that for some hundred miles 
together there is none either to baptize or administer the Lord's Supper. 
Here, therefore, my scruples are at an end ; and I consider myself at full 
liberty, as I violate no order and invade no man's right by appointing and 
sending laborers into the harvest. 

" 4. I have accordingly appointed Dr. Coke and Mr. Francis Asbury to 
be joint superintendents over our brethren in North America ; as also 
Richard Whatcoat and Thomas Vasey to act as elders among them by 
baptizing and administering the Lord's Supper. 

" 5. If anyone will point out a more scriptural way of feeding and guiding 
those poor sheep in the wilderness I will gladly embrace it. At present I 
cannot see any better method than that I have taken. 

"6. It has indeed been proposed to desire the English bishops to ordain 
a part of our preachers for America, but to this I object : first, I desired the 
Bishop of London to ordain one only, but could not prevail ; second, if 
they consented, we know the slowness of their proceedings, but the mat- 
ter admits of no delay ; third, if they would ordain them now they would 
likewise expect to govern them, and how grievously would this entangle 
us ; fourth, as our American brethren are now totally disentangled both 
from the State and from the English hierarchy, we dare not entangle them 
again either with the one or the other. They are now at full liberty simply 
to follow the Scriptures and the primitive Church, and we judge it best 
thatj they should ' stand fast in that liberty wherewith God has so 
strangely made them free.' John Wesley." 

From this it is seen that for about twenty years the 
preachers were laboring without holy orders, which they 
had sought in vain, and they were obliged to get the 
sacrament from the Protestant Episcopal Church. They 
had finally to obtain orders in an extraordinary way, 
a way which some have questioned ; but nevertheless the 
divine blessing has been upon the Church, and no other 
Church has made such rapid strides. Likewise, Zion 
had her struggle of a little more than twenty years to 
obtain holy orders for her ministers. She finally suc- 
ceeded, but the delay was a sore pullback, and was the 
fruitful source of the division in the African Methodist 


The bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church tell 
us now that we ought to be united in one body. The 
fact is, their predecessors are responsible for the state of 
things which they deplore. They gave to our fathers 
sour grapes, and the children's teeth are on edge. If 
they had agreed to ordain a few of our men at any time 
before the year 1 8 1 3 there would have been one African 
Methodist Episcopal Church, of which old Zion would have 
been the fountain head. Neither Peter Spencer in Wil- 
mington, nor Richard Allen in Philadelphia, could have 
been tempted to set up a rival organization to one fully 
equipped and authenticated by the bishops of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church. But the long delay, half prom- 
ises, and final disappointments to which the Zion people 
were subjected by the bishops were accepted by the peo- 
ple in Wilmington and Philadelphia as evidence that 
nothing was to be expected from the bishops, and they 
went forward and made their own ministers in their own 
way, or as best they could. 

First of all, Peter Spencer, in 1813, was set apart by 
election and the laying on of hands of three lay elders, 
who were elected to that office for that special purpose. 
In this they claimed that they were following the primi- 
tive Church, as Wesley did when he appointed Coke and 
Asbury to be joint superintendents in America. Three 
years later Richard Allen was made bishop in Philadelphia. 
We have no undisputed information as to how he was 
ordained, of which we shall have more to say hereafter. 

The aggressiveness of Spencer and Allen, especially 
the latter, compelled the Zion people to renew their efforts 
to obtain ordination by the bishops ; the efforts ending 


in failure, they were at last compelled to accept the offer 
of friendly clergymen who had seceded from the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church. For a more particular account 
of the struggles of this period the reader is referred to 
The Rise and Progress of Zion, by Bishop C. Rush, and the 
History of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, by 
Bishop J. J. Moore, D.D. It is not our purpose to give 
more than an outline of the history of the period so fully 
covered by them. 

The matter which caused a schism in the white Church 
and caused some to secede from that Church was re- 
garded by the Zion people as sufficient reason for putting a 
period to the agreement by which the white ministers had 
served them, and the authorities of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church were informed that they were relieved of 
the trouble of providing ministerial services any longer. 
As the Zion Church had been recognized as an inde- 
pendent body from the date of its incorporation, and as this 
agreement only bound the parties during their pleasure, 
there was no question as to the right of Zion to terminate 
the agreement. As the minister who was last appointed 
from the Conference was among the seceders they were 
willing that he should finish out his year, not as an ap- 
pointee of the bishop, but as called by the Church. But 
the time had evidently come, and all things seemed to 
combine to compel the colored preachers to take charge 
of the work themselves. The people were clamoring 
for it, and by no other means could they have been held 
together had there been longer delay in qualifying the 
preachers by ordination. Abraham Thompson, James 
Varick, and Leven Smith were the first three who were 


set apart to the office of elder, having been previously 
ordained deacons. The ordinations were performed by 
Revs. Dr. James Covel, Sylvester Hutchinson, and Wil- 
liam M. Stilwell, all Methodist ministers in good standing. 
Dr. Covel acted as chairman of the Bench of Elders. 
The three brethren thus set apart to elders' orders pro- 
ceeded to ordain others. 

During the year 1820 churches were organized in New 
Haven and Philadelphia. Leven Smith and Christopher 
Rush were instrumental in effecting the organization in 
New Haven, and Abraham Thompson and William Mil- 
ler in Philadelphia. Having passed briefly over the first 
period, we come to the second. 

The Developing Period, 1821 to 1863. 

Having previously mentioned the ordination of the 
first three elders, we may now state that on July 18, 
1822, the Annual Conference was convened in extra 
session in the city of New York. At this session, on 
Sunday, July 21, Christopher Rush, James Smith, James 
Anderson, William Coleman, Edward Johnson, and 
Tilmon Cornish were ordained deacons in the morning 
and elders in the afternoon. 

The work of development from this time went forward 
with considerable rapidity under the supervision of Right 
Rev. James Varick, the first regularly elected bishop of 
the connection. He was one of the nine official mem- 
bers who formed the Zion Church in New York city in 
1796. He was the leading factor in that movement and 
in all succeeding steps leading to the establishment of a 


successful itinerant system. Like Asbury, he served as 
superintendent before he had received holy orders ; he 
had conducted the efforts of the societies successfully 
amid great difficulties, and had shown himself equal to 
every emergency. Hence, when he, with others, received 
holy orders he was elected as first among his peers to 
superintend the connection. He served till his death, 
in 1827. 

At the General Conference the following year, 1828, 
Christopher Rush was elected to the episcopal office. 
Rush was possibly the ablest colored preacher living at 
the time he was made bishop.* 

In 1829 the Philadelphia Annual Conference was set 
off. It was formally organized on the 14th of June, 
1829, in Wesley Church, in Lombard Street, Philadelphia. 
Those who composed the Conference at its organization 
were as follows : Bishop, Christopher Rush ; elders, 
Edward Johnson, Durham Stevens, David Stevens, 
George Stevenson, David Crosby, Jonathan Gibbs, 
Arthur Langford, Tower Hill, John Marshall, Richard 
Phillips, David Smith, Jacob Richardson, Samuel John- 
son, Abraham Green — fifteen in all; delegates from the 
New York Conference, Jacob Matthews and Timothy 

The roll of the New York Conference at this time was 
as follows : Right Rev. Christopher Rush, Revs. Timothy 
Eato, Abraham Thompson, Charles Anderson, William 
Carman, George Tredwell, William Miller, Leven Smith, 
Jacob Matthews, Peter Van Hass, Jehiel Beaman. The 
total membership was about two thousand. During the 
* See Bishop Moore's History. . 1 


ten years from 1830 to 1840 the following were added 
to the roll of the ministry : Charles A. Boyd, Henry John- 
son, William H. Bishop, Hosea Easton, James Simmons, 
Henry Drayton, David Blake, Adam Ford, Daniel Van- 
devier, Francis P. Graham, John W. Lewis, George Gar- 
nett, William Fuller, J. H. Williams; William Serring- 
ton, John A. King, John Tappen, John Dungy, Richard 
Noyee, Peter Ross, John Lyle, John P. Thompson, John 
Chester, Nathan Blunt, John N. Mars, J. B. Johnson, 
Thomas James, Edward Bishop, Thomas Jackson, Demp- 
sey Kennedy, William Tilmon, George Washington, 
Benjamin Simms, W. L. Brown, John Wells, Samuel 
Serrington, George A. Spy wood, Jesse Kemble, Leonard 
Collins, Bazel McKall, William Jones, John Jackson, 
Abraham Cole, Samuel T. Gray, William McFarlan, 
Philip Lum, Shadrach Golden, Abraham Miller. 

Of this group of ministers, six became bishops, namely, 
W. H. Bishop, James Simmons, G. A. Spywood, John 
Tappen, Peter Ross, and J. P. Thompson, of whom a more 
particular account will be found in Bishop Moore's His- 
tory . Several of the others were quite distinguished in 
their day. Rev. S. T. Gray was a most remarkable man ; 
he was a natural born orator ; no man in his day could 
work an audience up to a higher state of enthusiasm than 
he. His brethren regarded him as a little tricky, but it 
would be much more just to say that he was exceedingly 
well equipped. He was unmatched in debate, he was a 
fine logician and splendid parliamentarian. He was calm 
and deliberate, and therefore generally master of the sit- 
uation. Asa preacher there was no man in his day who 
could produce a greater sensation. He was also a very 


successful medical doctor. Rev. Henry Johnson, better 
known as " Old Hickory," was a man of great force of 
character. Rev. John A. Williams was a revivalist, and 
always kept his church alive. John N. Mars was a man 
of considerable ability ; he was among the early antislav- 
ery agitators, and during the late war was commissioned 
as a chaplain in the army. Rev. Thomas James was more 
an antislavery lecturer than preacher, and yet he could 
preach ; but he was more ready to fight when he thought 
of the enormities of slavery. He held a position in con- 
nection with the Freedmen's Bureau about the close of the 
war, in which he distinguished himself by his fearlessness 
in defending the rights of the freedmen. Dempsey Ken- 
nedy was one of the most remarkable preachers of his 
time ; his discourses were seldom taken from any texts in 
the Bible, but from his observations through the week or on 
his way to church. He had but little regard for the rules 
of grammar, and could get away from one subject and on 
to another without making a period ; but somehow he 
could interest his audience, and many regarded him as a 
great preacher. Like most of the Zion preachers, he was 
also a great abolitionist. Rev. Leonard Collins was truly 
a great preacher and popular pastor, but strong drink 
destroyed his usefulness and brought him to an untimely 
grave. He is mentioned as a warning to those who have 
great talents to beware of strong drink. " Look not 
upon the wine when it is red." Bazel McKall was not 
a very great preacher, but was a good and upright man ; 
he lived to be an old man, loved by all who knew him, 
and was useful to his generations, of which he lived to see 
several pass away. Abraham Cole was a great preacher 


and a great and good man. Possibly the most remark- 
able man of the group we have been considering was 
Rev. David Stevens ; he was a wonderful preacher, gen- 
erally calm and deliberate, but at times he blazed out 
and carried everything as by storm. He also became 
a chaplain in the army. He lived to see more than 
fourscore years, and was an acceptable preacher till 
the end. 

It was not our original purpose to say anything of 
those in this group who became bishops, as we had the 
impression that Bishop Moore had given a sketch of 
the history of each. But as his History has not men- 
tioned the following we think at least a short sketch is 
demanded : 

The first of those of whom Bishop Moore had nothing 
to say was Bishop G. A. Spywood, who was made bishop 
in 1852 (a period of which we shall have more to say 
hereafter). Bishop Spywood was a man of extraordi- 
nary force of character ; he had a happy blending of the 
Indian and the African ; he had the veneration of the 
African united with the reckless daring of the Indian, 
which made him every inch a man ; he was rigidly hon- 
est, and feared none but his Maker. He was retired 
from the bishopric in 1856 because there were more 
bishops than could be used to advantage. For the re- 
mainder of his life he was employed as agent of the 
New England Mission Board, in which position he had 
very great success — far beyond that of anyone who has 
succeeded him. 

Next to him, among those overlooked by Bishop Moore, 
is Bishop Solomon T. Scott. His name appears on the 


roll of the members of the Philadelphia Conference as 
early as 1834. He was distinguished for preaching from 
metaphors. The announcement that he would preach 
his fish sermon always drew a crowd ; and it is possible 
that this was the first sermon of a Zion minister ever 
printed in pamphlet form ; and though it was read by 
many, yet people never seemed to tire of hearing it 
preached. He had also a sailor's sermon from the text, 
Isa. xxxiii, 23, "Thy tacklings are loosed; they could 
not well strengthen their mast; they could not spread 
the sail : then is the prey of a great spoil divided ; the 
lame take the prey." This sermon was especially for 
sailors, and many of them gathered to hear him. He had 
also an antislavery sermon, intended to encourage his 
people to help fugitives who were making their escape 
from bondage. He was regarded as a great preacher, 
had a very gentle and humble disposition, and seemed 
hardly at ease in the bishopric. The period of his bish- 
opric was the most stormy that the Church has known ; 
and considering his peculiar temperament it is not strange 
that he felt deeply the responsibility of his position. He 
was retired in i860. 

The third bishop on whose history Bishop Moore is 
silent is Bishop Peter Ross, who was set apart to the 
episcopal office in i860. We find his name on the roll of 
members present at the New York Conference in 1834; 
but as he is not mentioned among those who joined that 
year we conclude that he joined at least a year earlier. 
About that period he was sent as a missionary to Provi- 
dence, R. I. He succeeded in organizing a church there, 
which is now one of the most flourishing churches in the 


New England Conference. He was also sent as a mis- 
sionary to Halifax, N.'S. During his ministry he filled 
the pulpits of some of the most important churches in the 
East, old Zion included. He was a man of great force 
of character, pure and upright ; he was a forcible and 
logical preacher. He lived to a good old age and was 
respected by all who knew him. 

From the year 1828 to 1840 Rush had filled the epis- 
copal office alone, and had filled it well. Every year 
there was an increase of members, ministers, and 
churches ; new territory was occupied, and the connec- 
tion increased in strength and influence continually. 
But at the General Conference in 1840 a disturbing ele- 
ment was introduced, which culminated twelve years 
later in a split in the connection, which lasted for eight 
years. This element was the idea of an assistant super- 
intendent. Not that Rush needed an assistant at that 
time (for the assistant never held a Conference nor per- 
formed an ordination), but to satisfy the ambition of one 
man and his friends. 

Rev. William Miller was the senior elder, and was am- 
bitious to fill the highest position. Miller was one of 
that class of men that must have what they want or they 
will make trouble. He was of a peculiar make-up, a 
mixture of splendid parts united with some remarkably 
weak ones. He was unstable, and required to be hu- 
mored and petted to be kept in the harness. About 181 3 
he was a deacon in the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
doing all he could to injure Zion. At a little later period 
he, with the Asbury Church, united with Zion; about 
1820 he, with Asbury Church, united with Bishop Allen, 


and thus formed the nucleus of the present Bethel 
Church in New York. About 1830 he returned to Zion 
with a fragment of the Asbury Church. He was a 
prominent example of that class of ministers who find 
it hard work to determine just where they rightly be- 
long ; yet for all that he was a good preacher, and his 
influence was not to be despised. While we think the 
brethren made a mistake in making him assistant super- 
intendent, yet it is possible that we would have done no 
better. They could not trust him with the reins of 
government, but satisfied his ambition to some extent 
by associating him with Father Rush as his assistant. 
The tejrjnjwas^easily borrowed from the relation Asbury 
once held as assistant to Wesley. Bishop Miller died 
in 1846, but the work went on under Rush's care as 
though nothing had happened. 

In 1848 Rev. George Galbreth was elected to the epis- 
copal office ; some were in favor of making him a full 
bishop, but the majority, influenced by the bad example 
set in 1 840, voted that he should be only assistant. The 
minority, however, was strong and active, and by the 
sitting of the General Conference in 1852 they were pre- 
pared to carry their point. They determined to elect 
bishops on equality ; the program with some, however, 
included the retiring of Father Rush, who was both 
feeble and blind. Some were opposed to this part of 
it, but it was finally carried out, and George Galbreth, 
William H. Bishop, and George A. Spy wood were elected 
on equality. There was something, however, connected 
with the election of these three men . that all did not 
fully understand. We have the impression that some- 



thing was kept from the knowledge of Father Rush, 
and to keep it securely from him a few others had to be 

Possibly all would have gone smoothly if Galbreth 
had lived, but he died in 1853, and then trouble began. 
It was reported that Bishop Bishop had declared himself 
the general superintendent. Some wanted him to main- 
tain this position, while others wanted him to adhere 
to their understanding of the action of the General 
Conference that all of the bishops were on equality. 
Finding that there would be trouble, no matter which 
position he took, he simply said, " I am all that the Dis- 
cipline makes me." This satisfied one party, but not 
the other ; hence he was called to trial by the dissatisfied 
party. He evaded trial, and therefore was declared sus- 

This action caused a split in the connection. Those 
adhering to the suspended bishop held the territory gen- 
erally from Philadelphia south and westward, and were 
called the Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal Church. The 
others held the most of New York, New England, and 
Nova Scotia, and were called African Methodist Episcopal 
Zion Church. The East had the larger number of able 
men, but the West was more compact. The East, af- 
fected by Congregationalism, was in favor of a general 
and assistant superintendent, elected once in four years, 
as the President and Vice President of the United States 
are. In the West the idea of Episcopalianism prevailed. 
There was a little mixture of sentiment in both sections, 
but there was a stronger minority in the East in favor 
of Episcopalianism than that in the West in favor of 


Congregationalism, or a merely elective superintendency. 
This fact had much to do with bringing about the re- 
union after eight years of strife, with all its attending 

The following court decision in a legal contest between 
the parties during the division is possibly the fairest 
presentation of the issue that we can give. Both sides 
were well represented, and the presumption is that each 
did its best in presenting its case. It is evident that 
the court held that Bishop was technically in the wrong. 
The point most against him was the changing of the title, 
striking out ' ' African ' ' and inserting ' ' Wesleyan . ' ' This, 
as the court intimated, stamped him as a seceder, and 
as such, no matter how large his majority, he could not 
take the Church property. This decision also tended 
to hasten the reunion. The fact that it went against 
the stronger party induced it to accept more readily 
the overtures which were made by the weaker side, 
which was more ready to offer terms. But we leave 
the reader with the foregoing hints to form his own 
judgment from the record. 


" With no small degree of satisfaction the following decision is pre- 
sented to all who feel interested in the affairs of our Church, which has 
been hindered much in its progress on account of the pending difficulty 
that has existed since 1852 until now. Every effort that has been made 
to adjust the difficulty having been before the public, therefore we feel 
obligated to make public the result of another investigation, emanating 
from the Court of Common Pleas, Williamsport, Lycoming County, Pa., 
of a recent lawsuit of one of our churches there. Further preliminaries 
on the subject are not necessary, as the following decision and charge of 
the judge to the jury contain all that is necessary to satisfy an unbiased 
mind. S. M. Giles. 



" George Johnson, Ferdinand Capes, and Anthony Stokes, Trustees of the 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, 


Isaac Coleman, Lewis Hill, David Thomas, Joseph Davis, Isaac Lloyd, 
James Sherman, George Roach, and Isaac Thompson. 
" Counsel for plaintiffs, Messrs. Dietrick and Scates ; counsel for defend- 
ants, Messrs. Armstrong, Campbell, and Emery. 


" Of all the disputes that arise those which arise among the professing 
Christians are most to be deplored, and are the bitterest. Strange as it 
may appear, it is nevertheless true that these disputes are more difficult 
to arrange among the disputants than any other, and perhaps more difficult 
to adjust, rightly and justly, before a court and jury. Each Church has its 
own peculiar form of government, its Discipline and creed. They are usually 
governed by a Constitution, each of its members either expressly or im- 
plicitly engaging to be bound by it. It is necessary for the good govern- 
ment of all religious organizations that there should be a form of govern- 
ment, without which it would not only be difficult, but perhaps impossible, 
to keep the members together for any length of time. 

" The parties to this action all profess to belong to the African Methodist 
Episcopal Zion Church in the United States. They are not disputing as 
to the doctrine of the Church, the form of worship, or the Constitution or 
Discipline by which the Church is to be governed. The dispute is, who 
has the right to the possession of the church in this place, or had at the 
time of the alleged trespass? If that right was in the plaintiffs at the 
time they would be entitled to your verdict. The action is not brought to 
recover damages so much as to determine the right to the property, which, 
under the pleadings in this action, may be done. 

" The suit is brought in the names of George Johnson, Ferdinand Capes, 
and Anthony Stokes, trustees of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion 
Church, Williarnsport. Their election as trustees was proven by the 
minute book of the church. 

" The property in dispute was conveyed by Abraham Updegraff and wife 
to George Johnson, Ferdinand Capes, and David Thomas, trustees of the 
Colored Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Williarnsport, by deed, dated 
on the 21st of June, 1854. Both parties claim under this deed. To determine 
which of these parties is entitled to hold the property it will be necessary 
to examine the proceedings of their Conferences, with a view of ascertain- 
ing whether Mr. Coleman, the preacher recognized by the defendants and 


other members of the church, was properly and duly elected and ap- 
pointed to take charge and oversight of this church. He, as well as his 
predecessors from the first organization of the church in this place, was 
appointed by the Philadelphia Conference. The right of this Conference 
to appoint was not disputed for some time, but the acts of that body were 
recognized as binding and were submitted to. In June, 1852, a General 
Conference met in Philadelphia. At that Conference a question arose 
whether a general superintendent should be elected in Committee of the 
Whole or General Conference. At that Conference it was concluded to 
elect a general superintendent and an assistant superintendent in Com- 
mittee of the Whole, which, it is said, was contrary to the Discipline and 
Constitution which had been adopted for the government of the Church. 

" At that time Christopher Rush, the old gentleman who appeared on the 
stand as a witness, was general superintendent, and had been for some 
years before, and George Galbreth the assistant superintendent. Mr. 
Rush was at that time nearly blind, and wished to resign his position, that 
another might be elected in his place. A committee was appointed to 
name superintendents. They reported the names of Rush and Galbreth, 
and Galbreth was elected over Rush. A question arose then as to the 
proper mode of electing these officers. The provision in the Book of Dis- 
cipline is that the superintendents were to be elected in a General Con- 
ference, not in Committee of the Whole. It was concluded that he must 
be elected according to the Book of Discipline. A General Conference 
was then entered into, a committee was appointed, who named James Sim- 
mons and William H. Bishop. Simmons resigned or declined an election, 
and Mr. Scott was named as the opposing candidate to Bishop. Bishop 
was elected over Scott for four years. Galbreth was elected assistant 
superintendent. Galbreth became dissatisfied, and a motion was made to 
have three superintendents on equal footing. The Book of Discipline pro- 
vides for the election of two superintendents — one of them a general 
superintendent and one assistant superintendent. Bishop then put a 
motion, and a third superintendent was elected, namely, Spywood. Sub- 
sequently Bishop, Galbreth, and Spywood made an agreement among 
themselves, splitting up the connection, which the witness states they had 
no right to do. 

" Also, after the election of these three superintendents the Philadelphia 
Conference issued a circular to change the word ' African ' and insert the 
word ' Wesleyan.' The Quarterly Conference refused to receive the circu- 
lars, because they thought the General Conference had taken away the 
rights of the people. The Conferences would not receive the change at all. 
Bishop was recognized as the general superintendent, and Galbreth 

" Bishop went on and held a Conference at Ithaca. Galbreth held one 


in Pittsburg, and called it the Wesleyan Conference. A charge was pre- 
ferred against Bishop for permitting it to be called by that name. A copy 
of the charges was given to him. In the meantime Galbreth died. Bishop 
appeared at the Conference, but refused to submit to the trial. While 
Bishop was under censure he held a Conference at Baltimore, came to 
Philadelphia, and held one there. When he got through at Philadelphia 
he came to New York Conference. He then wished to hold that Confer- 
ence without submitting to be tried for his misconduct. He was then 
informed that he could not take the chair until he was tried. The Confer- 
ence proceeded to appoint a chairman pro tern., to act till Bishop was tried. 
Bishop refused to be tried, and denied their right to try him, holding that 
he could only be tried by a General Conference. Whether his position 
was correct or not can only be determined by referring to the Constitution 
or Book of Discipline. He was tried in 1853 and expelled. Before he 
was expelled Bishop made a motion to go to Williamsburg ; a few mem- 
bers of the New York Conference went with him, and some of the Genesee 
Conference went with him, and four of the Philadelphia Conference. 

" When Bishop was expelled a convention was called to supply the va- 
cancy. This convention met on July 9, 1853. All the elders were warned 
to attend. A General Conference was organized, the Book of Discipline 
adopted, and George A. Spywood elected general superintendent, and John 
Tappan assistant. It is stated by one of the witnesses examined that the 
General Conference had never before 1852 elected three superintendents. 

" The Philadelphia church is still attached to the General Conference. 
Simmons and Scott succeed Spywood and Tappan. 

" Mr. Thompson says Bishop was never superintendent since 1853. From 
the state of facts which the court submits to you, with all the other facts 
in the case, was Bishop, after his expulsion in 1853, a general superin- 
tendent, having the right to act as such ? This involves an inquiry into 
the regularity of the proceedings in the Philadelphia Conference when three 
superintendents were elected, and the subsequent conduct of Bishop in 
permitting Galbreth to change the name of the Conference, the charges 
preferred against him, his refusal to submit to a trial before the New York 
Conference, his right to occupy the chair, the right of the members of the 
Conference, while charges were pending against him, to prevent him sitting 
as the presiding officer, and his right to call a convention or Conference 
at Williamsburg. If this Conference at Williamsburg was held without 
authority, and in violation of the Constitution or Discipline of the Church, 
the members of that convention departed from the form of government 
of the Church, and cannot, by virtue of such act, claim to be the Church, 
no matter whether they were a majority or minority. The same remarks 
apply to other acts enumerated by the court. 

" Which of these parties, the plaintiffs or the defendants, adhere to the 


doctrine of the Church, the form of worship practiced in the Church, and 
the government in the Church, must be submitted to you, with instruction 
that your decision should be in favor of the party so- adhering, and having 
in those respects the regular succession, no difference whether that party 
be in the majority or minority. 

" Here read from Book of Discipline and Doctrine, Section 4, Art. IV, 
PP- 35- 36; Art. V, p. 36; Section 11, p. 53, of General Conference; p. 56, 
General Superintendent ; p. 57, Assistant ; p. 65, Yearly Conference. 

" Mr. Rush was the General Superintendent of the Church for twenty-four 
years. He appointed elders for Williamsport Church. The Philadelphia 
church formed part of his charge, which he visited. He, wishing to 
resign, being superintendent in 1852, Bishop came in after him. The 
church in this place was attached to the Philadelphia Conference. 

" It is to be hoped that your verdict will repair the troubles that exist in 
this breach of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in the United 
States, and restore peace and harmony am^ng the members. This appears, 
to be the desire of the court. We are sure it is your wish, as it is that of 
the court. If Bishop, when he seceded or called a Conference at Wil- 
liamsburg, should be considered as acting in violation of the govern- 
ment of the Church, and was properly expelled, then, his power as general 
superintendent having ceased, he could not confer power upon others to 
officiate in the Church." 

During the year 1858 the subject of the union of the 
two factions was uppermost in the minds and conver- 
sation of both ministers and members on both sides. 
Union sermons were preached and union meetings were 
held. No one could give a good reason for the split nor 
for the continuation of it. If William H. Bishop had 
met his accusers when he was called to trial it is not 
likely that he would have been expelled or suspended. 
On the other hand, the treatment he received was hasty 
and ill-advised. The stubbornness of one man and the 
haste of a few others were about all there was in it. 
But that one man had his followers, while nearly an 
equal number were against him ; and between them 
they had kept the Church in confusion. A few deter- 
mined men, however, made up their minds that the farce 


had gone on long enough, and they took steps to put a 
period to it. 

A convention of leading men from each faction met 
in Newburg, N. Y., and adopted a platform for the 
reunion, which was presented to the General Conference 
of the Bishop party which met in Philadelphia on the 
25th day of May, i860. Old Zion Church was taken 
into the confidence of the movers in this matter 
through her pastor, and she was induced to say that 
she would not support either faction unless they united. 
This induced the Bishop faction to be reasonable, in the 
hope of getting that Church in case they failed to unite. 
It had also a good effect upon the Rush faction, and we 
have no doubt it had very much to do with the reunion. 
The delegates from the Newburg convention were, on 
motion of Rev. S. D. Talbot, seated as honorary members 
of the General Conference in Philadelphia ; and the me- 
morial which they presented was made the special order 
for the next morning. The entire day (Thursday, May 
31) was taken up in discussing the memorial, without 
reaching a conclusion. On Friday, June 1, Rev. S. T. 
Gray, M.D., arrived with credentials from the officers of 
old Zion Church, and a letter informing the General 
Conference that it could meet and hold its sessions in 
that church on and after the 6th of June, provided 
there should be no interference with local matters. As 
the other faction had appointed to meet at that time and 
place, this was a reminder that they had been acting like 
spoiled children and bickering long enough, and that the 
mother wanted them to come home and behave them- 


Dr. Gray, with his papers, was received. The ques- 
tion of union was resumed, and the memorial prepared 
by the Newburg convention was finally adopted. It was 
also agreed to accept the invitation to meet the other 
faction in New York on the 6th of June. Nothing but 
routine business was transacted by this faction of the 
General Conference during the remaining three days. 
Whatever was offered in the way of legislation was re- 
ferred to the meeting in New York. 

On Wednesday, June 6, at 4 P. M., the two factions 
met in old Zion Church, corner of Church and Leonard 
Streets, New York city, according to agreement. Super- 
intendents Bishop and Clinton were present; Superin- 
tendents Simmons and Scott did not appear. Father 
Rush soon appeared, however, and answered for Bishop 
Simmons, who had been taken suddenly ill. Bishop 
Scott's absence could not be accounted for. Nevertheless 
it was agreed to proceed. All were so anxious for the 
union that there was no disposition to delay because the 
active bishops on one side were not present. The basis 
of union prepared by the convention at Newburg was 
read, as follows: 

"Section 1. Resolved, That all matters pertaining to former difficulties 
be laid aside forever. 

" Section 1. Resolved, That these parties agree to use both Books of 
Discipline* till the sitting of the General Conference of i860, and at the 
assembling of the General Conference to proceed to organize under the 
Discipline of 1851 ; then to adopt or make a Discipline suitable to the 
wants of the people or connection. 

" Section 3. Resolved, That this convention recommend the General 
Conference under Right Rev. W. H. Bishop, which is to meet in Phila- 
delphia, May 30, i860, that they adjourn to meet in New York, at Zion 
Church, on the 6th day of June, where the union will be consummated. 

* Both parties had revised the Discipline during the eight years they had been separated. 


" Section 4. And be it further Resolved, That we recommend that they 
defer the election of superintendents and revision of Discipline till the 
union is effected. 

" Section 5. Resolved, That we cordially invite the two general superin- 
tendents, with their assistants, to meet the adjourned General Conference 
to reassemble in New York the 6th day of June, at 4 P. M., to assist in 
consummating the union. 

" Section 6. Resolved, That nothing in the foregoing basis be so con- 
strued as to interfere with privileges of any of the members of the Gen- 
eral Conference. 

" Section 7. Resolved, That as a convention we stand united on the fore- 
going basis." 

This was, on motion, received and adopted. The 
members of the convention which had thus brought 
about the reunion arose and embraced each other in a 
most affectionate manner, and the entire body did like- 
wise. Sincere rejoicing, mingled with songs, followed 
for several minutes, after which the Conference ad- 
journed, to meet the following morning. 

It was agreed that the Book of Discipline of 1858, with 
such revision as the wants of the connection demanded, 
be adopted. On motion of Dr. Gray, the words " assist- 
ant superintendent " were ordered stricken out of the 
Discipline wherever they appeared. This had been the 
bone of contention for years, and as soon as it was out 
of the way there was nothing to prevent a more perfect 
union than the Church had known for twenty years. 

On proceeding to the election of bishops for the 
reunited body Revs. Peter Ross and J. J. Clinton were 
elected in the order named. After their election the 
Committee on Districts went out to assign the bishops 
to their fields, and on returning reported three districts 
instead of two. It was generally understood that this 
was done in the interest of Rev. W. H. Bishop; but as 


all desired harmony and good feeling he was elected 
with but little opposition. 

This, however, proved disastrous to Bishop Ross, for 
after a struggle of nearly three years he was compelled to 
resign through lack of support. The arrangement was 
that the bishops were to rotate at the end of two years ; but 
for the first two years Bishop Ross was appointed to a 
district on which both of the other bishops had traveled 
before, and both claimed back salary, and the General 
Conference permitted them to go back and get what they 
could. Two other bishops having full sweep on Ross's 
district (he a stranger and they both well acquainted) 
made a poor chance for Ross. When he came to change 
two years later, he found his new field gleaned, and no hope 
of raising more than traveling expenses for nearly twelve 
months. It soon became evident that there was nothing 
for him but to resign, which he did. Some may think 
that it was an awkward fix to put him in. That is true, 
but in those days some ministers were not averse to put- 
ting a bishop in an awkward fix when they wanted to kill 
him off. Ross was used as a means of bringing the two 
factions together, but he had opponents who were ready 
to cut the ground from under him, and they succeeded in 
doing it. 

Ross was a great and good man. As a pastor he was 
unsurpassed among his companions, but he had not the 
peculiar qualities for a bishop. The same may be said 
of five others, who were elected during the eight years 
of strife. Spywood, Tappan, Henderson, Scott, and 
Simmons were all good preachers and strong men, and 
would always have appeared to advantage if they had 


never been elected to the episcopal chair. Their weak- 
ness was shown by placing them in a position to which 
they were unsuited. The bishops who have distin- 
guished themselves as such and left no doubt about their 
call to that office were Varick, Rush, Clinton, and 

In addition to those ministers already mentioned the 
following were enrolled previous to the close of this period : 

New York Conference. — Wesley Marshall, Edward 
H. Bishop, Isaac Coleman, Jephtha Barcroft, Moses Man- 
ning, Josiah J. Long, John G. Erling, Jacob Jordan, 
William H. Decker, Jacob Thomas, William McFarland, 
Samuel L. Giles, William H. Pitts, Peter Coster, Noble 
L. Johns, William R. Brooks. 

New England Conference. — G. H. Washington, Wil- 
liam F. Butler, Nathaniel Stubbs, John Williams, J. W. 
Hood, Henry Dumpson, Joseph G. Smith, John F. Loyd, 
Clinton Leonard, Silas A. Mitchel, Thomas A. Davis, 
Nelson Turpin, Thomas Henson. 

Philadelphia Conference. — J. B. Trusty, H. H. 
Blackson, S. T. Jones, Sampson Talbot, John W. Green, 
Thomas Harris, William Young, J. J. Moore, George 
Johnson, Jacob Anderson. 

Allegheny Conference. — Robert A. Gibson, Robert 
Squirrell, Isaac Gasaway, W. Nelson Williams, Abraham 
Cole, Daniel B. Matthews, Joseph Armstrong, John B. 
Cox, Jeremiah Bowman, Joseph Hicks, Prince G. Lows, 
Isaac J. Whiting, William H. Johnson, William Hamil- 
ton, Jehu Holliday, James A. Jones. 

Genesee Conference. — Hezekiah Butler, Henry Da- 
vis, R. Johnson, William Sanford, George Bosly, Jer- 


min W. Loguen, Shadrach Golden, John Thomas, J. 
Goodman, William A. Cromwell, Thomas James, Rich- 
ard Estepp, James H. Smith, Bazel McKall. 

Southern Conference. — R. H. G. Dyson, J. D. 
Brooks, William T. Biddle, C. J. Carter, Jacob P. 
Hamer, J. A. Williams, Joseph Sinclair, W. H. Crof- 

It will be seen that at the end of this second period 
there were six Annual Conferences, and there had 
been received into the itinerancy in all 197 minis- 
ters. The several rolls show 226, but 29 names were 
duplicated by transfer. The connection occupied only 
portions of the Middle and' Eastern States. Of the 
entire number of ministers who had been received into 
the connection ninety-two were still living and in active 
service at the close of this period. Of the founders Father 
Rush alone remained. A few had withdrawn and were 
at work in other denominations. Among the most prom- 
inent of these were the following: John N. Mars, who 
left and returned and finally left again. He was much 
more an antislavery lecturer than a preacher ; he was hard- 
ly a success as a pastor. The occasion of his leaving does 
not appear ; but he left in an honorable way and retained 
the respect of his brethren. Nelson Turpin also left 
and returned and finally left again. Thomas Henson 
went to the Baptist Church, because he believed in dip- 
ping, but always retained a friendly feeling toward the 
Church in which he embraced religion, as we shall have 
occasion to mention later. 

One remarkable thing about this period is that there 
were very few expulsions ; a few are recorded, but they 


were exceptions. As a rule the answer to the question, 
" Who have been expelled? " was, " None." There 
was, however, very great care taken in receiving per- 
sons into the ministry. The fathers in this respect 
did better than their children are doing. In those days 
preachers attended Conference several years before they 
were taken in. They attended, sat in silence and looked 
on, but were not permitted to take any part in the pro- 
ceedings. They assisted the preachers in charge until 
an opportunity opened for them to work up a society 
somewhere, and then, having evidenced their usefulness, 
they were received. 

The ministers of that period were, as a rule, good 
preachers ; few of them were what would be called bril- 
liant men, but a large portion of them could preach a 
good, sensible sermon. Some were powerful, awakening 
preachers ; sinners could not listen without being affected 
to such a degree that it was impossible for them to hide it. 
Rev. Samuel L. Giles was a reasoner of great force ; his 
sermons were well arranged, logical, and forcible. They 
were generally laid off in from three to five general divi- 
sions, with a larger number of subdivisions, and his en- 
tire discourse would have looked well in print. He and 
Dr. Gray were our theological instructors. Giles ad- 
vised us how to behave ; he taught us when we went 
to Conference to take a back seat and keep quiet. As 
a preacher and deacon he taught us to listen to the 
elders. If a deacon or preacher, even in full connection, 
had claimed the floor when an elder desired to speak, he 
would have received a rebuke that he would never have 
forgotten. There were ministers then who were neither 


greatly endowed nor well cultured, but who had pecu- 
liarities by which they accomplished wonders. The 
Church, as a whole, was a power for good. 

The Conferences held long sessions; they were the 
only theological institutes the ministers had in those 
days; they generally spent nearly two weeks in session. 
The Conferences were not held with open doors in the 
early days of the Church, but gradually the churchmen, 
and finally the public, were admitted. The ministers in 
Zion Church, almost from its organization, were more 
liberal toward the laity than any other branch of the 
Episcopal Methodist Church. The laity were admitted 
to representation in the Annual and General Conferences 
as early as 185 1. 


The Flourishing Period, 1863 to 1896. 

At the close of the preceding period we had 6 Annual 
Conferences, 92 ministers, and about 5,000 members. 
At this time there was a call from the South. Old Zion 
in New York was known as far south as New Orleans as 
the mother of African Churches. Quite a number of our 
members in New Haven, Conn., were originally from 
New Berne, N. C, and when in New Berne they were 
members of Andrew Chapel. These members urged 
the bishop to send some one down to New Berne to look 
after our people there. Finally, Rev. John Williams 
was appointed, and the New England Conference Mission 
Board appropriated fifty dollars to send him. He, how- 
ever, let nearly a year pass before he had the courage to 
start. Meanwhile the bishop became impatient, and 


about the 25th of December, 1863, he appointed Rev. J. 
W. Hood, and the Mission Board appropriated fifty dol- 
lars more to send him. He started at once, taking his 
family as far as Washington. The Chesapeake Bay was 
frozen, and he could not get through till near the middle 
of January. He reached New Berne on the 20th of Jan- 
uary, 1864. The church, numbering about four hundred 
members, accepted his service and agreed to unite with 
the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church ; they had 
previously been connected with the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South. A few weeks later the church at Beau- 
fort was added. The Union lines then extended about 
fifteen miles westward from New Berne ; several coun- 
try organizations were formed between New Berne and 
Beaufort. About the 1st of March Rev. John Williams 
reached New Berne. Finding the field' at New Berne 
and vicinity occupied, he went to Roanoke Island and 
Washington, N. C, and was received by the churches 
at those points. Early in the month of May Bishop 
Clinton visited New Berne and ordained William Ryle 
and Ellis Lavender as deacons. He also visited Beau- 
fort and ordained Enoch Wallace. He started to return 
to Washington, but the Confederates recaptured that 
town, and the bishop was obliged to retreat. New 
Berne was attacked about the same time, but the Union 
forces were able to hold it. In the month of July Dea- 
con David Hill was sent from the New England Con- 
ference and took charge of the work at Beaufort. After 
the evacuation of Washington the refugees from that 
and adjacent places formed a settlement over the Trent 
River from New Berne, and it was called James City. 


Rev. John Williams made this his headquarters and 
founded two or three churches in that vicinity. 

About the middle of September the yellow fever be- 
came epidemic, and three of our best men were swept 
away, namely, Deacons David Hill, William Ryle, and 
Enoch Wallace. 

In December, 1864, the North Carolina Conference 
was organized ; this was the first Afro- American Confer- 
ence held in that territory over which the Confederate 
flag had floated. War was still raging, nevertheless 
Bishop Clinton, with his missionaries, gathered around a 
stove on a cold winter day and laid the foundation for 
that structure which towers up so grandly to-day. The 
work in North Carolina is the great central force in Zion 
Connection. Nine of our large Conferences have grown 
out of this beginning in North Carolina. The roll of this 
first Conference numbered twelve, including the bishop, 
as follows: Bishop, Joseph J. Clinton; elders, John 
Williams, Ellis Lavender, J. W. Hood, E. H. Hill; 
deacons, W. J. Moore, H. W. Jones, David Gray, Joseph 
Green, Sampson Copper, Abel Ferribee ; preacher, Amos 
York. Hill and Lavender were ordained elders at this 
Conference, also six deacons. In anticipation of the sur- 
render the work was laid off, embracing several points 
then within the Confederate lines. They were worked 
up to, however, in every case as laid out but two. 

During the latter part of 1864 Bishop Clinton estab- 
lished missions in Louisiana and Florida. Rev. Wilbur 
G. Strong was the first missionary sent to that work. 
Brother Strong is a man of excellent parts, a fine scholar, 
and generally well equipped, and he had very great 


success, especially in Alabama, in which State -the 
strength of the Church is second only to that of North 

May 25, 1864, the twelfth quadrennial session of the 
General Conference convened in Philadelphia. The 
South was represented in this General Conference by a 
lay delegate in the person of Edward H. Hill, who 
a short while after that was licensed to preach and or- 
dained deacon and elder, all within a few months' time. 
He informed the General Conference of the success which 
had attended the efforts of the missionaries sent to North 
Carolina, and of the splendid prospect for the Church in 
that field. 

Preceding the sitting of the General Conference the 
subject of union between Zion and Bethel had been much 
talked of. The union of the two factions of Zion four 
years previous had made the impression with many that 
it might be an easy matter to unite the African Metho- 
dist Episcopal (Bethel) and African Methodist Episcopal 
Zion Churches, and make them one. Ministers in both 
Churches had preached on the subject, and it was thought 
that the people were pretty well prepared for it, and, in 
fact, many were, but there were also those who were bit- 
terly opposed to union. We shall have more to say in 
another place as to why the union failed, and possibly 
must ever fail. 

The first formal proposition for union came from the 
African Methodist Episcopal (Bethel) Church, and was 
presented to this General Conference. We take the fol- 
lowing from the minutes of the second day's session, 
May 26, 1864: 


" A special committee from the General Conference of the African Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church, consisting of Revs. A. Mcintosh, M. Sluby, and Dr. 
Watts, were introduced to the Conference and were cordially received. 
Business was suspended to give them audience. 

"Rev. Mcintosh, the chairman of the committee, after some congratula- 
tory remarks, presented and read a document emanating from that body as 
to its action and provision made for consolidation of the two connections, 
namely, African Methodist Episcopal Church and the African Methodist 
Episcopal Zion Church : That in order to duly consider the matter a com- 
mittee of nine had been appointed, with two bishops, to meet a similar 
number from this General Conference as a joint committee, in the event 
they deem such consummation possible, shall call a convention con- 
sisting of such number of delegates as may be determined by said joint 
committee. When the convention shall have assembled they shall deter- 
mine the conditions upon which the union shall be consummated ; and said 
conditions shall be submitted to all the Annual Conferences of each con- 
nection. If the terms agreed upon by the convention be ratified by a 
majority of all the Annual Conferences above mentioned, that the two 
connections from that date shall be one." 

After a brief interchange of sentiment with the com- 
mittee touching the subject the following prevailed : 

" Resolved, That we cordially receive the representation made to this 
Conference by the subcommittee from the Committee on Church Union 
appointed by the African Methodist Episcopal General Conference, and 
that we promise to give the subject presented a Christian and fraternal 
consideration which its importance so justly demands at the earliest op- 

" The committee withdrew. The subject was further deliberated upon, 
which resulted in the following resolution : 

" Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to present the 
Christian greetings and resolutions of the African Methodist Episcopal 
Zion General Conference to the African Methodist Episcopal General 

"The following were appointed: Revs. S. T. Jones, J. B. Trusty, S. M. 
Giles. This committee, having filled its mission, returned and reported 
through the chairman, Rev. S. T. Jones, the cordial reception they met 
with and the feeling evinced upon the subject of consolidation ; that they 
were upon the point of adjourning that evening, but upon hearing of our 
approval of their proposition suspended the adjournment until our Con- 
ference could get a sufficient quorum to consider the matter properly.* 

* It may be noted that our General Conference met in Philadelphia about the time the 
other adjourned. 


He corrected an error in the report of the committee from that body, 
namely : Instead of two bishops, as was reported, it is the Bench of Bish- 
ops to be united with nine from that body, and the same from us or an 
equivalent in members." 

On the following day, May 27, the following preamble 
and resolutions, offered by S. T. Jones, were adopted: • 

" Whereas, By the working and control of an all-wise and gracious Provi- 
dence, circumstances and events have so conspired during the present 
great struggle as clearly to indicate that the set time to favor Zion has 
fully come ; and, 

" Whereas, This is specially manifested as relates to that portion of the 
Church composed of colored Methodists in America ; and, 

" Whereas, We should prove ourselves false alike to the principles of our 
holy religion, our obligations as the representatives of Christ, and our duty 
and responsibilities as the leaders of a weak because divided people, 
should we fail, from any minor consideration, to improve the present fa- 
vorable opportunity with a view to the future peace and prosperity of the 
Church, and the moral, social, and political interest of the race with which 
we are immediately identified ; therefore, 

" Resolved, That in the great principle of Christian union and brother- 
hood we fully indorse all proper measures employed in furtherance of that 
principle, and that our warm sympathies are with those who are heartily 
engaged in the effort to unite in one body the African Methodist Episcopal 
Zion and African Methodist Episcopal Churches. 

" Resolved, That as an evidence of our sincerity, and with a view of 
facilitating the consummation so ardently desired, this Conference appoint 
a committee of nine with the Bench of Superintendents forthwith, who 
shall be authorized and empowered to confer with a similar committee in 
connection with the Bench of Bishops chosen by the General Conference 
of the African Methodist Episcopal Church on all matters touching a 
consolidation of the bodies represented." 

A committee of three — J. W. Hood, J. H. Smith, and 
J. P. Hamer — was appointed to inform the General Con- 
ference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church that 
in compliance with their wish a committee had been ap- 
pointed to confer with them on the consolidation of the 
connections. On returning they reported that six o'clock 
that evening had been fixed upon for the joint meeting. 


S. T. Jones, J. W. Loguen, P. G. Laws, Sampson Tal- 
bot, G. H. Washington, J. Coleman, J. W. Hood, J. D. 
Brooks, J. P. Hamer, S. M. Giles, W. F. Butler, with 
Superintendents Bishop and Clinton, constituted the 
committee on our part. They reported to the Confer- 
ence on Saturday, May 28, that it had been agreed to 
submit the subject of consolidation to a convention com- 
posed of twenty-five on each side, and their action to be 
submitted to all the Annual Conferences for confirmation. 
Our delegates were as follows : 

New York Conference. — Revs. W. H. Pitts, Isaac 
Coleman, Jephtha Barcroft, Jacob Thomas. 

Philadelphia Conference. — Revs. Sampson Talbot, 
S. T. Jones, Charles J. Carter, J. B. Trusty. 

New England Conference. — Revs. S. M. Giles, W. 

F. Butler, G. H. Washington, J. W. Hood. 
Southern Conference. — Revs. J. D. Brooks, R. H. 

G. Dyson, J. P. Hamer, J. A. Williams. 
Allegheny Conference. — Revs. Abraham Cole, J. 

B. Cox, James A. Jones. 

Genesee Conference. — Revs. J. W. Loguen, James 
H. Smith, William Sanford, Bazel McKall. 

Reserves. — Revs. J. P. Thompson, Jacob Anderson, 
G. A. Spywood, R. A. Gibson, P. G. Laws, John 

The convention met according to agreement and formu- 
lated a platform for consolidation. Zion carried out her 
part of the agreement. To make the final consolidation 
the more convenient she agreed to meet in Washington, 
where the other body had agreed to meet ; she also 
changed the date of sitting of the General Conference, 


as may be seen by the following resolution (p. 50, Min- 
utes of General Conference, 1864) : 

" Resolved, That the rule for the sitting of the General Conference on the 
' last Wednesday in May ' be suspended, and the ' first Wednesday in 
May ' be substituted." 

Our people ratified the platform and the General Con- 
ference confirmed it ; but for some reason the authorities 
in Bethel did not submit it to their people. Since that 
time some of us have gone slow on the union question 
with that Church. 

Nevertheless, when a proposition came from them 
again in 1884 desiring to renew the effort, Zion again 
consented, and appointed a commission to meet theirs, 
and a platform almost a duplicate of the one prepared 
by the convention of 1 864 was adopted by the joint com- 
mission. This was submitted to the bishops with a request 
that they should submit it to the people for ratification. 

Here again the bishops of the African Methodist Epis- 
copal (Bethel) Church were responsible for the failure ; 
they refused to submit it to their people. To state the 
matter exactly, all of our bishops who were present 
voted to submit the platform to the people, and Bishop 
Payne voted with us; but his colleagues (seven) voted 
against it, even Bishop Wayman, who, as a member of 
the joint commission, helped to make the platform and 
voted with the other members of the commission to re- 
quest the bishops to submit it to the people ; yet in the 
joint meeting of the bishops he voted against it. Thus 
the work of the second convention came to nothing. 

At this General Conference (1864) Sampson D. Talbot, 
John D. Brooks, and J. W. Loguen were added to the 


list of bishops. The bounds of the several Annual Con- 
ferences were fixed as follows : 

1. The New York Conference. — The New York 
Conference to embrace all that part of the State of New 
Jersey lying north of the Raritan River, and that part of 
the State of New York lying east of the Hudson River, 
including that portion of the State of Connecticut not 
comprised in the New England Conference; and also 
that part of the State of New York lying west of the 
Hudson River, bounded by a line commencing at the city 
of Albany and running southwesterly to the Pennsyl- 
vania State line, and also the British Guiana Mission. 

2. The Philadelphia Conference. — The Philadel- 
phia Conference to embrace the State of Delaware, and 
all that part of the State of New Jersey south of the 
Raritan River, and all that part of Pennsylvania east 
of the Big Valley; Lewistown, Montrose, and Wilkes- 
barre excepted. 

3. The New England Conference. — The New Eng- 
land Conference to embrace Nova Scotia, New Bruns- 
wick, and all the New England States except that part of 
Connecticut lying west of Stamford, until such time as 
those points in the British Provinces warrant the resusci- 
tating or setting apart of a separate Anniial Conference. 

4. The Baltimore Conference. — The Baltimore 
(formerly known as the Southern) Conference to em- 
brace the State of Maryland, District of Columbia, West 
Virginia, Kentucky, and all that part of Virginia north 
of the James River, including the city of Richmond. 

5. The Allegheny Conference. — The Allegheny 
Conference to embrace all that part of the State of Penn- 


sylvania west of the Big Valley, including the States of 
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, and Iowa. 

6. The Genesee Conference. — The Genesee Con- 
ference to embrace all that part of the State of New 
York not comprised in the New York Conference, in- 
cluding Montrose and Wilkesbarre, in Pennsylvania. 

7. The North Carolina Conference. — The North 
Carolina Conference to embrace the State of North Caro- 
lina, Tennessee, and all that part of Virginia south of 
the James River. 

8. The California Conference. — The California 
Conference to embrace Upper California and all that 
part of Lower California belonging to the United States, 
and the adjacent territories. 

9. The Louisiana Conference. — The Louisiana Con- 
ference to embrace those States south of North Carolina. 

This laying off the nine Annual Conferences looks large 
on paper, but there was not much in it as to the number 
of churches at that time. There were less than a dozen 
churches in all New England, less than a dozen in the 
Genesee Conference, about twenty-five in the New York 
Conference ; there were less than a dozen churches in all 
States west of Pennsylvania and Maryland ; and in all the 
States south of Washington there were none except the 
few which had been gathered in North Carolina during 
the preceding five months. Nevertheless, the field laid 
off at that time has been largely occupied. The State of 
New Jersey, part of which was embraced in the New York 
Conference and part in Philadelphia Conference, has been 
made the New Jersey Conference, and is larger now than 
either the New England, Genesee, or Allegheny Confer- 


ence was in 1864. The Baltimore and Philadelphia Con- 
ferences have been consolidated. The ' ' On to Richmond" 
which was hoped for when the bounds of the Southern 
Conference were extended to the James River has not 
materialized ; only two churches have been planted by 
that Conference south of the Potomac. 

The field westward has been better occupied. First 
the Kentucky Conference was formed, then out of it the 
Arkansas and Missouri Conferences were formed. The 
North Carolina Conference was formed as contemplated, 
and from it sprang the Virginia Conference, the South 
Carolina Conference, the Tennessee Conference, and the 
Central North Carolina Conference ; from the Tennessee 
Conference the West Tennessee and Mississippi Confer- 
ences, and the East Tennessee, Virginia, and North Caro- 
lina Conferences ; from the Central North Carolina Confer- 
ence the Western North Carolina Conference ; and from 
the South Carolina Conference the Palmetto Conference. 

The Louisiana Conference has not amounted to much 
in that State up to this time, but the territory embraced 
in that Conference, as first set off, has been pretty 
well worked up. First, the Alabama Conference, which 
had, and possibly has yet, the largest number of ministers 
of any Conference in the connection. It has been divided 
and the West Alabama Conference formed out of it. 
Then the Florida Conference was formed, which has also 
been divided. Finally, the Texas Conference and a sec- 
ond Georgia Conference have been formed. The Cali- 
fornia Conference was formed as anticipated, and the 
Oregon Conference, of which little was known in 1864, 
has been formed. 


The only section of the work laid off at that time in 
which we have retrograded, or made but little advance, 
is the British Provinces. Before the war we had consid- 
erable work in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada, 
and one or two of the West India Islands. Two things 
operated to hinder this work : First, when the way was 
opened for us to extend our efforts southward, it required 
every available man to occupy that field, and the kind of 
men that could be spared for the provincial work were 
wholly unsuited to it. The sending of them was little 
better, probably worse, than sending none. Second, 
about that time Bishop Nazery, of the African Methodist 
Episcopal Church, went to Canada and established the 
British Methodist Episcopal Church, which carried every- 
thing before it in the Dominion of Canada so long as Na- 
zery lived. As we had not men in the provinces capable 
of holding our churches they were carried away by this 
movement. When Nazery died and men got to fighting 
over his shoes that work went to pieces, and we presume 
we might easily regain all we lost there if we had the 
men and means to occupy the field. For about thirty 
years we have made but little effort in that direction. 
The Michigan and Canada Conference includes a frag- 
ment of the Church we once had in Canada. We have a 
little work in the Bahama Islands and in Santo Domingo. 

At the General Conference in 1868, held at Washing- 
ton, D. C, the Discipline was more thoroughly revised 
than at any other period since the first Discipline was 
adopted. The idea of a lifetime episcopacy which pre- 
vailed at the reunion in i860 was incorporated and the 
Discipline was greatly enlarged. 


In the platform agreed to in the convention for the 
consolidation of Zion and Bethel (in 1 864) it was agreed 
that we should adopt the lifetime episcopacy, including 
the third ordination, as understood by other Episcopal 
Churches. This was one of the questions submitted to 
our people for ratification, and it was adopted; and 
notwithstanding we failed to unite, we revised the Disci- 
pline according to the idea thus indorsed by our people. 
It is doubtful if all the members just realized that fact, 
and the movers in the matter did not make any more ado 
about it than was necessary to get the revised matter 

The question of laying on of hands in the ordination 
of bishops was not raised, as the Committee on Revision 
were not willing to risk losing the substance in contend- 
ing for a shadow. Besides this our ministers have long 
used the ritual of the Methodist Episcopal Church in per- 
forming the ceremonies ; hence the absence in the Disci- 
pline of the instruction for laying on of hands at a par- 
ticular point did not necessarily prevent that performance. 
We may remark, however, that it became a question 
whether we did or should lay on hands in the ordination 
of bishops, and therefore in 1888 the few lines which were 
omitted in the ordination ceremony in 1868 were sup- 
plied. So that the ceremony of setting apart a bishop in 
our Discipline is the same as that in the ritual of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, except that the word " con- 
secrate " is substituted for " ordain." 

The General Conference of 1868 made a blunder which 
cost us very dearly. We met in Washington City accord- 
ing to agreement with the African Methodist Episcopal 


Church to facilitate the consummation of the union if 
agreed to. As our people had agreed to the plan adopted 
by the convention many had high hopes of the consoli- 
dation. Our General Conference agreed to the union 
with only two dissenting votes. But when we informed 
the other body that we had fulfilled all the requirements 
of the platform and were ready for the union we were 
coolly informed that they had not submitted the matter 
to their people. This made some of our men indignant, 
and some became reckless, like a person disappointed in 
marriage and ready to do something for spite. 

Gilbert Haven and others had been courting some of 
our leading men, to induce us to unite with the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. The bait held out was that we should 
have a pro rata representation in the Episcopal Board, 
which it was understood would give us two or more bish- 
ops on equality with the white bishops. Gilbert Haven 
was perfectly honest, and thought he could manage it. 
This proposition, made to our General Conference just 
when we were feeling the sting of Bethel's conduct, was 
very favorably considered. The result was that we sent 
a delegate to Chicago. He was well received, and it 
looked for a few hours as if we should get from that body 
all we could ask. The majority of that body agreed 
with Gilbert Haven ; but there was a powerful minority, 
led by a man by the name of Slicer, who would have no 
Negro bishop. We feel to-day that through the prejudice 
of that man and his followers God delivered us from a 
fatal blunder. God makes the wrath of men to praise 

If those who had favored the idea of receiving us on 


fair terms, when they found it could not be done, had 
just given it up and informed us of the sentiment as they 
understood it, we should have suffered no loss. But in- 
stead of that they played the old game of delay. Some 
of us fully understood the meaning of this ; we could see 
from the newspaper reports that there was no hope of 
what Gilbert Haven and others held out to us. They 
were anxious to do it, but the odds were against them ; 
many of us, therefore, made up our minds to pursue the 
matter no further. Some, however, were in favor of 
accepting what was offered — a four years' consideration ►' 
of the matter. The experience of the preceding four 
years with the African Methodist Episcopal Church was 
not lost sight of by the more thoughtful among us ; so 
there was division in our own ranks. The desire to unite 
with some other branch of the Methodist Church was so 
strong in some that they were ready to unite on any 
terms, or even to make an unconditional surrender. 
Then some of the ministers of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church took advantage of our weakness. There were 
many places where our people were struggling with 
heavy church debts, and the church property was not 
fully secured ; in many such cases they were told that if 
they would go to the Methodist Episcopal Church their 
property would be paid for and their ministers supported 
out of the Freedmen's Aid Society. In some cases the 
contemplated union was used against us, and our people 
were told that we were going soon to be all one anyway, 
and those who went first might fare best. The result 
was that thousands of our members went to that Church. 
Rev. G. W. Price, Presiding Elder of the Lumberton 


(N. C.) District, attempted to take his whole district and 
the church at Wilmington, N. C. He took several 
churches and about one thousand members. We got the 
church at Lumberton back, but it took us seven years to 
do it, and the Methodist Episcopal Church had the advan- 
tage of possession and the use of our property all those 
years, while our people were without a place of worship. 
Only a few remained faithful under these circumstances ; 
so that we have hardly now regained our former strength 
in that section, while the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
which hindered us from doing what we might have done, 
has but little now to show for the large number of mem- 
bers she took from us more than twenty years ago. 

As in i860, likewise in 1868, more bishops were made 
than could be used to advantage. Some of us contended 
that four bishops were all we needed, but the majority 
would have six ; only five, however, were employed to any 
advantage at any one time during the four years. It was 
agreed to pay the bishops one thousand dollars, but not 
more than two of them received that amount. The ad- 
ditions to the Bench of Bishops at this session were J. W. 
Loguen, who was elected in 1864 but resigned; J. J. 
Moore and S. T. Jones. Bishop W. H. Bishop was re- 
tired at his own request. 

Since the death of Bishop Clinton there has been some 
question as to who was senior bishop ; sometimes Bishop 
Jones and sometimes Bishop Moore has been announced 
as senior. It may be well to explain how this controversy 
arose. At the time the bishops were elected Bishop Jones 
was not present ; he had gone to Chicago as a' delegate to 
the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church 


before the election of bishops took place. When he re- 
turned, nearly ten days later, some one told him that he 
was elected first ; there are always persons whose enthu- 
siasm carries them beyond the truth as well as beyond 
reason. Such a person misled Bishop Jones in this mat- 
ter. Of course there was no reason why he should doubt 
the statement. Certainly he was the more popular of those 
elected at that time, and we are sure that if any impor- 
tance had been attached to the idea of electing him first 
it would have been done. But we do not believe that 
those who were most anxious for his election thought of it 
at all, and so it happened that he was not elected first. 
Nevertheless, the false impression made upon his mind 
remained fourteen years unchallenged, because there was 
no occasion for the question to come up. But when Bishop 
Clinton died (Bishops Talbot and Loguen having pre- 
viously passed away) there were none to claim the senior- 
ity but Moore and Jones, and it was discovered that some 
claimed that Moore was senior and others that Jones was 
senior. But for three or four years no one went to the 
record, and Bishop Jones, feeling fully satisfied that he 
had been correctly informed, felt that those who ac- 
knowledged Bishop Moore as senior were simply hostile 
to him, and there finally got to be considerable feeling 
over it. The writer of this remembered that Bishop 
Moore was elected first, but as there was some feeling 
over it he preferred that the record should testify, and 
it was agreed to go to the record, which is as follows : 

" The election of bishops being in order, the chair appointed G. A. Spy- 
wood, J. A. Jones, and W. F. Butler tellers. The roll of Conference was 
called, and each member deposited his ballot. On counting the votes it 
appeared that the whole number of votes cast was 74 ; necessary to a 


choice 38. J. J. Moore received 59, and was duly declared elected a bishop 
of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church of America. A second 
ballot was cast, and on counting the list it was ascertained that 75 votes were 
cast ; necessary to a choice 38. S. T. Jones received 62, and was declared 
duly elected a bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in 
America." * 

Such is the record made at the time that it was done, 
and there can be no question that Bishop Moore was sen- 
ior by a few minutes' time as it respects their election. 
There was a greater difference as to their consecration. 
Bishop Moore was consecrated on Wednesday, May 27; 
Bishop Jones did not return from Chicago till the follow- 
ing day. The General Conference adjourned on Friday, 
the 29th, but provided that Bishop Jones should be con- 
secrated on the following Sabbath. Since Bishop Jones 
passed away there is now no question as to seniority; 
but we have thought it proper to give the facts, as some 
have continued to speak of Bishop Jones as the senior 
bishop. We might truthfully have spoken of him as 
first among his peers, or the ablest bishop. That much 
even Bishop Moore was willing to accord him. 

Among our best and most useful men of his day we 
must class Rev. Samuel M. Giles, of whom we have spoken 
before, but a more extended notice seems demanded. He 
was for several years secretary of the New England Con- 
ference, also secretary of the New England Mission Board. 
He was a fine scholar, and one of the most lucid preachers 
we ever listened to. He was not an orator in the ordinary 
sense of that term ; he held the interest of his congregation 
by what he said. Every time he spoke he said something, 
and something which came so natural and so well in 

* Minutes, 1868, p. 24. 


place that it seemed as if nothing else could have suited 
so well. He was a model of Christian purity, and was 
always ready to do good for evil ; you might have smit- 
ten him on the one cheek and he would have turned the 
other. If he had occasion to chide one he would pray 
with him first or hand him a passage of Scripture to 
read, which would prepare him to receive the admoni- 
tion. He would never turn a person out of church if he 
could help it ; in fact, he had such influence over his 
members that he seldom had one to turn out; they 
would sacrifice their own desires to live in accord with 
his teaching. He lived in the hearts of his people. He 
was among the best writers the connection has produced ; 
he wrote rapidly, and the best of language was so ready 
at command that he seldom had to rewrite. If he had 
lived a few years longer we should have had such a his- 
tory as we shall never see.* His work began where Bishop 
Rush's ended, and was intended to be as complete for the 
period ending about 1864. He was a quiet worker in 
the General Conferences of 1856, i860, and 1864. After 
the General Conference of 1 864 he was transferred to the 
Southern Conference, as it was then called, and stationed 
in Washington City, first at Wesley Zion Church and 
after that at Union Wesley. He was one of the secretaries 
at the General Conference in 1 860, and also in 1 864, and 
was compiler and publisher of the Minutes. He pre- 
pared and published a hymn book, which was adopted by 
the General Conference of i860; it was a very fine com- 
pilation. Giles was prominently spoken of for the bish- 
opric both in i860 and 1864, and we fully believe that if 

*We regret that the Giles manuscript cannot be found. 


he had lived till 1868 he would have been elected in- 
stead of Loguen ; but he died before the Conference met. 

Rev. James A. Jones was also one of the strong men 
of that period ; he held important charges in all parts of 
the connection as far east as Nova Scotia, as far west as 
Missouri, and as far south as North Carolina. He was 
the first general secretary elected after that office was 

Jacob B. Trusty and J. P. Hamer were both men of con- 
siderable ability. Brother Hamer was editor of the Zion 
Church Advocate, and Brother Trusty was connected with 
him in the management of that paper. 

Abraham Cole and Joseph Armstrong were men of 
ability and usefulness. 

In 1872 only one bishop was added. Brooks was re- 
tired and Loguen died, which left the number five, all 
that could then be used to advantage, and for the four 
succeeding years the connection had a steady growth and 
numbered in 1876 two hundred and twenty-five thou- 
sand; so that from 1864 to 1876 the connection doubled 
five times, or once in less than three years. We doubt 
whether there is another such record in the Church his- 
tory of our times. 

In 1876, by a system of log-rolling known to politi- 
cians and discreditable to the Church, three bishops were 
elected- Not because we needed to make that many 
at that time, but to satisfy the unholy ambition of one 
man. The result was that the Church was disgraced by 
one holding the highest office to which man can attain 
on earth. Not only this, but the one man who was best 
prepared to build up our work in the South at that time 


was obliged to take a pastoral charge for four years. 
Few, if any, know how much harm was done by putting 
a bishop in that humiliating position. He was the choice 
of the South, and the treatment he received caused much 
ill feeling, of which our enemies took advantage, and said 
that we had made a Southern man a bishop as a sham, 
but did not mean to let him fill the office. We could name 
men in high positions in other denominations who used 
it for all it was worth against us, and had there been a 
bishop in charge of the Third District who for any reason 
had failed to meet the situation, the connection would 
have met a greater disaster than has ever befallen it. 
The bishop who provided for his colleague by giving 
him a pastoral charge which was willing to accept such 
service as he could give them, and at the same time 
care for his mission work, was blamed; but he fully un- 
derstood the situation and the imminent danger, and 
made up his mind to bear any amount of censure in si- 
lence, if permitted to do so, or to meet a storm if neces- 
sary, as he believed it was the only way to save the 
connection from disaster. The four years were passed, 
however, without serious damage ; but it was seen that 
there were certain things indispensable to the continued 
growth of the connection : 

1. It was necessary, as far as possible, to put an end 
to that system by which unsuitable persons could get 
into the bishopric by forming combinations. To this 
end it was necessary to put an end to the farce of re- 
electing bishops. After 1868 the bishop was made for 
life, but to be held in active service he had to be re- 
elected at the end of four years ; if not re-elected he did 


not cease to be bishop, but was held as retired. He was 
liable to be called into active service in case of a vacancy 
during the interval of the General Conference. The re- 
election, therefore, settled nothing except that those who 
were re-elected were supposed to be certain of work. 
This being the case, there was a much easier way to get 
at it, namely, by simply providing for the retiring of a 
bishop when he ceased to be useful. 

2. A better financial system was found to be an indis- 
pensable necessity. 

3 . It was seen that we needed a well-established news- 

4. It was fully realized that the establishment of an 
educational institution was an indispensable necessity. 

It is remarkable that the delegates from two episcopal 
districts came to the General Conference in 1880 with 
well-prepared plans to meet all the necessities, and they 
were all in some degree provided for. Bishop Jones and 
the bishop of the Third District both realized for the first 
time how closely their minds ran together on connec- 
tional matters, and how important it was for them to 
unite their efforts for the success of the connection ; and 
from that time till the day of Bishop Jones's death 
there was no important measure put in motion in the 
interest of the connection that did not have the best effort 
of both. 

It was decided at this General Conference by an almost 
unanimous vote that the bishop should remain in office 
during good behavior without reelection. There were 
none added to the board at this General Conference (for 
the first time since 1844). Bishops Brooks and Talbot 


had passed away, and Bishop Clinton was broken down, 
so the active bishops were reduced to six. 

The splendid financial plan which we now have was 
formulated at that time. It did not then reach its 
completeness as we now have it ; it has undergone 
little changes of detail, but the main features are 
the same, and the changes have only brought it more 
fully up to the idea of the minds that originally con- 
ceived it. 

The Star of Zion was adopted by this General Confer- 
ence. There had been several previous efforts made to 
secure an organ for the connection. As early as i860 the 
Anglo-African was adopted; its editor, Robert Hamilton, 
was chorister of old Zion Church. When that paper had 
run its course and failed the Zion Standard and Weekly 
Review was started by the trustees of old Zion Church, 
with Bishop Jones, who was then the pastor, as religious 
editor. A complete outfit was purchased, and $7,500 
was spent in the effort to establish a connectional jour- 
nal. The General Conference of 1868 agreed to purchase 
the paper at the original cost, $4,000 of which the cor- 
poration agreed to donate. In the Journal of that Con- 
ference we find the following, which was offered by Rev. 
S. T. Jones, and adopted : 

" Whereas, The incorporate body of Zion Church, New York, in a com- 
mendable public spirit, has commenced and carried on at its own expense 
the Zion Standard as the organ of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion 
Church, by which the interest of the Church and the race has been mate- 
rially advanced ; and, 

" Whereas, Said incorporate body has, in a spirit of magnanimity which 
should command the respect of the General Conference and entire con- 
nection, donated to this body the sum of $4,000 ; therefore, 

" Resolved, That the thanks of this Conference are due and are hereby 


tendered to the said incorporation for its liberality as well as for the 
creditable manner in which it has conducted the paper under peculiarly 
embarrassing circttmstances.' ' 

The words we have put in italics conveyed the idea 
to some of us who were present at that General Confer- 
ence that possibly we were taking an elephant on our 
hands, and so it proved. Rev. J. N. Gloucester was 
made editor, and Abram B. Coss, Esq., business manager ; 
but the paper failed in less than one year. The collapse 
was so complete that the record of the succeeding General 
Conference contains no mention of it. About 1872 or 
1873 the Zion Church Advocate was started in Washington 
City by Rev. J. P. Hamer, Jacob B. Trusty, and others. 
It was conducted by a company until the sitting of the 
General Conference which met in Louisville, Ky., in 1876. 
The General Conference agreed to take the paper and 
conduct it. The Minutes of that General Conference 
were never published, and we have only memory to rely 
upon. Rev. W. H. Day was made editor. It was agreed 
that each minister should pledge $4.50, the price of three 
copies per year ; but for some cause not a copy was issued 
after the General Conference.* The following is taken 
from the bishop's address to the North Carolina Confer- 
ence in 1877 : 


" I have frequently urged the importance of an organ through which the 
Church could speak to all the world and tell whatever is important for the 
world to know. The General Conference at its last session attempted to 
establish a journal, but the effort proved a failure. Your money deposited 
with the secretary at the last Conference was sent to the editor, since which 
we have received no paper from that source. Tired of being harassed by 
persons who had sent their money and could get no paper, I went to New 

* Since the above was written we have learned that three numbers were issued, and the amount 
sent from North Carolina being all that was sent, was thus used up. 


Berne and arranged with Brother Tyler for the publication of a paper. 
The Star of Zion is the result of that effort. While this paper was started 
to supply a need resulting from the failure of the Zion Church Advocate, 
its grand success has stamped it as a permanent organ of the connection, 
whatever may be the success of other enterprises. I commend the Star 
to your heartiest and most earnest consideration. Let us make it a power 
in this land — a star so bright that no cloud can hide the beauty of its rays." 

Such is the account given of the origin of the Star by 
the 'man who put down the first five dollars to pay for the 
paper for the first issue. 

A circular was sent to several ministers and a few 
laymen, requesting each to subscribe $1 per month to 
run the Star until it became self-sustaining. About 
twenty-five persons responded. It was thought that not 
less than $30 per month would be necessary to insure 
success. The mover in the matter agreed to pay $5 per 
month to insure success. The North Carolina Confer- 
ence at its session in 1877 adopted the following: 


" Whereas, The General Conference in its effort to establish a connec- 
tional organ did thereby show the great necessity for the same ; and 

" Whereas, The plan fixed upon by the General Conference has thus far 
been a failure, 

"Resolved, That we, the members of the North Carolina Conference, do 
agree to perpetuate the plan and intention of said General Conference by 
a hearty support of the paper gotten up through the wisdom of Right Rev. 
J. W. Hood and edited by Rev. J. A. Tyler with artistic skill through the 
unshrinking love and zeal he has for the advancement of the kingdom of 
our Lord Jesus Christ and the cause of our beloved Zion ; and, 

" Whereas, This is the first time that the Southern portion of the connec- 
tion has ever attempted to establish a paper, and a paper is much needed 
in our midst ; therefore, 

"Resolved, That every minister of this Conference be urged to take the 
paper himself and become an agent to solicit subscribers for the same. 

" Whereas, Elder J. A. Tyler has been so faithful in editing and uphold- 
ing and continuing the paper until the sitting of the Conference, 


" Resolved, That the members of this Conference do pay him the sum 
of $25 by way of respect. 

" Resolved, That we do pledge ourselves to maintain and support, in 
all honorable ways, the paper above mentioned, known as the Star of Zion. 
" Respectfully submitted, 

" H. C. Phillips, 
"J. McH. Farley, 
"J. W. Davis, 
" R. S. Rieves, 


The spirit of this report was carried out to a large ex- 
tent by the members of the North Carolina Conference. 
The South Carolina and Virginia Conferences also took 
an active part in supporting the paper, and several lead- 
ing men in different parts of the connection gave it their 
influence and support, so that by the meeting of the Gen- 
eral Conference in 1880 it had a considerable circulation 
and was known in every section. The promoters of this 
enterprise, who had given their means and labor to es- 
tablish the paper, went to the General Conference and 
offered the paper, press, and type which they had pur- 
chased to the connection free of charge, and with only 
two conditions, namely, first, that the General Conference 
would assume a small indebtedness on the type (about 
$100), and, second, that the paper should never be discon- 
tinued. The stockholders had- given this pledge to the 
public when they started the paper, and they were deter- 
mined that the pledge should be kept; hence they re- 
served the right to take hold of the paper again if the 
connection let it fail. The General Conference has kept 
its pledge, and the Star twinkles for all. 

The fourth important matter provided for at this Gen- 
eral Conference was our present splendid Livingstone 
College. We had been trying for many years to estab- 


lish an educational institution. The first effort was the 
Rush Academy, located somewhere in the State of New 
York ; twenty years or more had been spent on this effort 
without accomplishing anything. Then it was proposed 
to sell the property in New York, and a lot was bought 
in Fayetteville, N. C, on which to erect the Rush Univer- 
sity. This was regarded as a good location, because it was 
where there were a large number of our people. But the 
State Normal School was located at Fayetteville, and the 
man we hoped to use in establishing the university, Pro- 
fessor C. R. Harris, was selected as principal of the Nor- 
mal School. Hence Fayetteville proved a failure. About 
the same time the Zion Hill Collegiate Institute was 
started in Pennsylvania, near Pittsburg. This was en- 
tirely out of the way of our people, and some of us saw 
from the commencement that this effort could only end 
in failure. But our beloved senior bishop, J. J. Clin- 
ton, had set his heart upon it, and we saw that the end of 
it would be the end of his usefulness, and we were anx- 
ious to postpone the evil day as long as possible ; hence 
we encouraged the effort. The bishop's plan was to get 
an appropriation from the Legislature. We think the 
bill passed but was vetoed by the governor. The bishop 
believed that its failure was the result of treachery in 
his own ranks, and was consequently greatly depressed 
in mind. 

The institution collapsed, and the bishop's mental and 
physical vigor failed, and he never recovered. We shall 
never forget the forlorn appearance he presented when we 
visited him after that disaster. We soon found it would 
not do to talk to him on the subject of the college. He 


lingered for a while, but was never strong either in body 
or mind after that. 

We have found that it is pretty hard work to plant a 
college. They seem to spring up as a natural growth 
where they are successful. Our Livingstone is not where 
the attempt was first made to plant it ; it was started at 
Concord. It was, however, at the Annual Conference 
which met at Salisbury, in 1877, that the first movement 
was made which resulted in its establishment. 

Several persons have claimed the honor of being the 
originator of Livingstone College. We think the honor 
of the very first move in the matter belongs to one who is 
always too modest to claim honors ; he was not only the 
first to move in the matter, but he has done as much as 
any other man toward making the institution the religious 
power it is. We reefer to Bishop C. R. Harris, D.D. 
The following, taken from the Minutes (page 22) of the 
North Carolina Conference, 1877, speaks for itself : 

" C. R. Harris presented a paper signed by Thurber, Harris, and Rieves, 
on the establishment of a theological seminary in this State. Adopted. 
The plan in substance is this : 

" 1. Provides for the election of trustees, who, after the incorporation of 
the seminary, are to devise the form and have the printing and distribution 
of the building stock. 

"2. Shares to be $10 each; minimum limit to be sold, 500; each church 
to be allowed at least one share. 

"3. Each share entitles its representative to a year's tuition in the semi- 
nary, and may be purchased by individuals. 

" 4. Provides for the returns of elders, and the time and place of annual 
meetings to frame and to present to the Annual Conference a report of the 
progress of the work. 

" Trustees were then elected, namely, C. R. Harris, William H. Thurber, 
William J. Moore, Bishop J. W. Hood, R. H. Simmons, Bishop T. H. Lo- 
max, Z. T. Pearsall, A. York, and A. B. Smyer. 

" Bishop J. W. Hood and E. H. Hill were selected to attend to the incor- 
poration of the seminary." 


Such is the record. The document in every line ex- 
hibits its authors. We say authors, for while the greater 
part of it shows the handiwork of Bishop Harris the joint- 
stock idea sounds very much like William H. Thurber, 
who has from the commencement shown the deepest in- 
terest in the success of the institution. It was he who 
first interested the people of Concord in the matter and 
secured the ground on which it was first proposed to erect 
the college. 

Rev. R. S. Rieves, whose name is associated with Har- 
ris and Thurber in presenting the matter to the Confer- 
ence, was quite young at that time, hence was not hon- 
ored with a place in the board of trustees ; but he was 
even then one of our best students, and stands to-day in 
the very first rank among the presiding elders, not only 
as a worker and preacher, but also as a thinker. There 
are few men who have a larger or better influence in a 
deliberative body. The names of Harris, Thurber, and 
Rieves should be engraved in rock and placed conspicu- 
ously somewhere at Livingstone. Nothing has ever suc- 
ceeded better than that for which they planned. 

At the next Conference, 1878, the bishop in his ad- 
dress spoke as follows : 


" This can be made a success if we so will. I think Bishop Lomax was 
in the chair when this measure passed the Conference. When I was 
spoken to about it I gave it no encouragement, but after it passed the 
Conference I felt it my duty to give the measure a fair trial. With this 
view I met the board of trustees, and there for the first time learned 
exactly what was proposed. The prospect of success appeared so much 
beyond my expectation that I finally fell in with the plan proposed. I, 
by the advice and consent of the trustees, appointed an agent, who agreed 
to travel and lecture for sixty clays free of cost if I could procure for him 


free tickets over the several railroads. Colonel A. S. Buford, President of 
the Richmond and Danville Railroad, granted him a two-thousand-mile 
ticket over the North Carolina Division of that road. Major John Hughs 
granted him a free ticket over the Atlantic Road, and Colonel L. C. Jones 
granted him a free ticket over the Western Road. The best that other 
roads consented to do was to furnish tickets at clergymen's rates. In 
order to make use of the tickets the agent had received it was necessary to 
raise a small amount to pay expenses on other roads. To my surprise I 
learned that, so far from being willing to raise anything on his traveling 
expenses, at some places they demanded that the agent pay his board, 
notwithstanding he was giving the connection sixty days of his precious 
time free of cost. I confess I was disheartened, especially when I learned 
that men who sat here and voted for this measure professed to know 
nothing about it. I was charged with exercising authority not vested in 
me, and the agent was charged with being an impostor. An impostor, 
indeed ! He asked not a cent. I asked the churches to defray what little 
expense he incurred in doing our work for nothing. His business was to 
open the way for the several pastors to sell the shares you had voted to 
issue. Were you in earnest when you gave that vote ? I supposed you 
were. If you were not I hope you will say so, and we shall know what to 
do. Let us trifle no longer." 

This address calls to mind the difficulties under which 
the college was started. The Conference having voted 
to issue shares of stock, it was necessary to set the idea 
clearly before the churches ; very few of the ministers 
of that time were sufficiently intelligent to do it. Pro- 
fessor A. S. Richardson, a fine lecturer, volunteered to 
give sixty days to the cause. We may remark that in 
working up the institution in its early stage no one did 
more than Professor Richardson. It was he who worked 
up the sentiment in Salisbury which induced the white 
people to subscribe $1,000 to induce the trustees to move 
the college to that place. From the Minutes of 1878 we 
take the following : 

" Professor A. S. Richardson, the lecturing agent for Zion Wesley Insti- 
tute, submitted his report and entertained the Conference with an eloquent 
speech in behalf of the institute. He gave an itemized account of the 


shares he had distributed, and congratulated the members of the Confer- 
ence on the prospect of soon having an institution of our own to reflect 
its light over the whole country. He counseled united and vigorous action. 
' We must deny ourselves,' he said, ' and set the example of taking scholar- 
ships and aiding pecuniarily in the work. Votes are powerful ; they de- 
clare war and command peace, but votes will not build Zion Wesley Insti- 
tute. [Laughter.] Presbyterians have schools of their faith, Baptists of 
theirs, Catholics of theirs ; we should have one of ours. We shall never 
firmly establish ourselves as a connection until we have a good seminary 
of learning. We want a supply of good ministers, and a good institution 
alone will give them to us. Our people are yearly becoming better edu- 
cated, and we must have a ministry to instruct and assist them. Educa- 
tion will secure this, and education we must have.' Thanks were tendered 
to the speaker by a unanimous vote." 

At the North Carolina Annual Conference in 1879 the 
secretary and treasurer of Zion Wesley Institute submit- 
ted his report, as follows : 

" To the Board of Trustees Zion Wesley Institute, Bishops, and Conference: 

" Brethren : I have no rose-colored report to offer, but such as I have 
give I unto you. In accordance with a resolution of the last Annual Con- 
ference diplomas of honor were prepared by Professor A. S. Richardson. 
From January 13 to February 21 fifty ministers were supplied with them, 
express charges being paid from the treasury. A few others were sup- 
plied afterward, the total number being five hundred. Nine hundred and 
thirty-five were printed, eleven sold by the secretary, and three were re- 
turned by Deacon Vanderberg, leaving a balance on hand of four hundred 
and twenty-seven. Of scholarships four hundred and seventy-six were 
printed, two of them being sold by Elder Bonner last year at Tarboro, and 
two this year by Elder Harris at Salisbury. 

" In the latter part of June Elder Thurber made a suggestion that we 
endeavor to raise funds at once to put up a temporary building, so as to 
start the school on the 1st of December. It was thought that as so much 
labor had been performed, and some timber could be obtained on the 
ground, $250 cash would enable us to get the building ready for occu- 
pancy by that time. Immediately I wrote an appeal for Zion Wesley Insti- 
tute and sent it to the Star, which was published in the August number. In 
it I urged all the preachers in charge of our churches to raise a collection 
for Zion Wesley Institute at once and forward to the treasury at Salisbury. 

" One or two ministers wrote saying that they intended to comply, but up 
to the assembling of the Conference none had responded to that appeal but 


Jerry McNeill, who sent $2 from Swan's Station. All honor to him ! Let 
this epitaph be written over his grave : ' He hath done what he could.' 

" As further aid in raising funds for the institute the trustees at an infor- 
mal meeting, held at Concord in August, agreed that the diplomas might 
be sold on time by paying $l yearly. The secretary was to inform the 
financial agents of the arrangements and furnish them with blank due- 
bills to be signed by parties purchasing diplomas. At the same time sev- 
eral brethren present agreed to advance certain sums to supply demand 
while the building was in process of erection. Of these Bishop J. W. 
Hood forwarded to the treasurer $50, $40 being the balance of the Educa- 
tional Fund of this Conference then in his hands, and $10 donated by himself. 

" No receipts yet from scholarships or diplomas. On the 19th inst. the 
idea occurred to me that the apathy of the ministers in regard to the col- 
lection of funds might be due to the fact that the deed to the land had not 
yet been placed in the hands of the trustees, although it had been agreed that 
no improvements should be made till all was done, and the chairman of the 
Building Committee had been instructed to get the deed as soon as possible. 

" I then thought I would try to secure a piece of land in Salisbury and 
have it presented to the institution. However, on the 21st I dropped a 
card to Warren Coleman, Esq., of Concord, one of the most prominent of 
the trustees, who dedicated the land to Zion Wesley Institute, asking if 
there was any possibility of having a deed for that land, to be presented to 
this Annual Conference, and requesting an answer by return mail. Re- 
ceiving no reply, on Sunday night I called a meeting for Monday night, to 
see if the citizens would secure land and donate it to the institution. 

" On Monday Mr. Joseph Ballard, an honorary trustee of Zion Wesley 
Institute, made inquiries concerning places which might be bought. At 
night he reported that four acres were offered free of cost by Mr. D. L. 
Bringle, postmaster, but that a more desirable tract, containing forty 
acres, could be obtained for $200. It was decided to secure said tract, sell 
thirty acres, and donate the other ten acres to Zion Wesley Institute if the 
building would be placed upon it. The thirty acres were soon disposed 
of, and a subscription amounting to $60 was then received for the ten 
acres to be given to Zion Wesley Institute, the money to be paid by Jan- 
uary 15, 1880. J. B. Ballard was made treasurer, and agreed to place in 
the hands of another a deed for twenty acres of land as security for the 
trust reposed in his hands. 

" Salisbury is undoubtedly the better location for the institute, both because 
it is easier of access from the western part of the State and because, there 
being no high school in the place, it affords a fairer prospect for academical 
students. But as the location has once been fixed at Concord and it has 
become evident that the delay in securing a title to the land is not wholly 
due to the trustees of the camp ground — assurance being given that the 


land donated will at once be placed in possession of the trustees of Zion 
Wesley Institute — I will not press the application from Salisbury. 

" I have said I had no rose-colored report to offer, but as some cloudy 
days end with a golden sunset, so may this report close with a cheering 
statement. Since coming to Conference the following brethren have paid 
$55.25 into the treasury, which amounts they had raised during the year, 
namely, W. J. Moore, A. York, W. H. Thurber, J. C. Dancy, R. S. 
Rieves, A. G. Kesler, John Hooper, A. B. Smyer, Z. T. Pearsall, and J. H. 
Mattocks, with a donation of $10 from Bishop Lomax. Besides this, owing 
to a happy forethought of our silver-tongued orator and the generosity of 
the Conference and the congregation of this church, $36.11 have been re- 
ceived as the proceeds of the Thanksgiving collection. 
" I now offer my report as treasurer of the institution : 

Balance on hand at last Conference $23 13 

Receipts on scholarships 37 87 

" " diplomas 32 25 

Collections from churches 4 00 

Thanksgiving collection 36 11 

North Carolina Educational Fund 40 00 

Donation from Bishop J. W. Hood 10 00 

" " " T. H. Lomax 10 00 

Total $193 36 

Expended for printing and distributing diplomas . $27 92 
" " 100 copies Star sent to trustees. . . 3 70 

" " circulars and duebills 3 60 

" " lecturer's board at Wilson 2 75 

" " envelopes and postage 35 

38 32 

Balance in the treasury $1 55 04 

"Zion Wesley Institute as an institution of learning, conceived in and 
thus far fostered and sustained alone by the North Carolina Conference, 
appeals to your warmest sympathies and most energetic labors. I trust 
that though divided in name we are not in heart, and that every member, 
both ministerial and lay delegates, will push forward the roll of diplomas 
and scholarships, and by no means neglect the public collections provided 
for at this session of the Conference. 

" Respectfully submitted, C. R. Harris, 

" Secretary and Treasurer Z1071 Wesley Itistititte. 

" It was ordered that the secretary be required to secure an engrossed copy 
of the Act of Incorporation from the Secretary of State for the benefit of 
the institute. 


" It was further ordered that the words ' Zion Wesley Institute Fund ' be 
inserted in the statistical table instead of ' Rush University Fund.' 

" The trustees of Zion Wesley Institute were instructed to open the school 
on the first Monday in January, 1880. 

" It was decided that the same rule regulating reports of scholarships be 
applied to the reports of diplomas of honor. Reports to be made and funds 
sent to the treasurer at the end of every month. 

" Subscriptions were then taken for Zion Wesley Institute, to be paid by 
the 1st of March, 1880, These were received : E. C. Davidson, $1 ; L. S. 
Hurdle, $2 ; David Drake, $1.25 ; J. R. Harris, $5 ; Thomas W. Payne, $1 ; 
David Williams, $1 ; Sullie Herndon, $1 ; Peter Caldwell, $1 ; A. Alen, $1 ; 
L. R. Ferebee, $5 ; Jerry McNeill, $2 ; H. M. Mosely, $1 ; J. A. Norwood, 
$2; John Pillican,$i.5o; W.D. Dickerson, $1 ; J. H. Mattocks, $3. 

" It was ordered that hereafter diplomas be given to all who donate $1 
(one dollar) or more to Zion Wesley Institute, the amount to be written on 
the diplomas in place of the word ' five ; ' also that all outstanding due- 
bills be canceled on the same conditions." 

The institute was adopted by the General Conference 
which met in Montgomery in 1880, and Rev. C. R. Har- 
ris was continued as principal. 

The Ecumenical Conference in London, in 1881, was 
seized upon by the bishop of the Third Episcopal District 
as a favorable opportunity to put the institute on a firm 
footing; and to that end he selected Rev. J. C. Price to 
accompany him to England as a delegate to the great 
Conference. Not even Price himself knew the bishop's 
purpose in selecting him. On their way to England 
the bishop informed Price what he desired him to do. 
Price agreed to undertake the agency, and he and the 
bishop began to arrange their plans as soon as they 
reached England. They did not take a pleasure trip over 
Europe, as other delegates did, but watched their oppor- 
tunity ; it soon came, providentially, as it appeared, and 
the result was that by the time the Conference closed a 
board of Englishmen had been appointed to take charge 


of the finances, and appointments had been made for 
Price for a period of several weeks. In less than a 
year's time he collected $10,000. 

When it was learned on this side that Price was suc- 
ceeding so well the white people in Salisbury became in- 
terested and offered $1 ,000 toward the purchase of a lot if 
we would move the college to that city. The offer was 
accepted, and in the spring of 1882 the present site was 

Because Price had been successful in collecting a large 
amount of money, and because much more was needed, 
which it was hoped he might be instrumental in raising, 
the Board of Bishops, at their meeting at Chester, S. C, 
in September, 1882, elected him president, notwithstand- 
ing Rev. C. R. Harris was the senior teacher in the in- 
stitution and one of the best disciplinarians that ever 
walked into a schoolroom. In fact, we have known but 
few teachers who were the equal of Bishop Harris. 

During this period the Church has had two severe 
trials to pass through, but passed through both without ap- 
parent injury. The first grew out of a misunderstanding 
respecting the place of meeting of the General Conference 
in 1872. Bishop Jones, who was sent to Chicago as a del- 
egate, with a proposal for a consolidation with the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, finding that the union could not 
be effected at that time, entered into an agreement to 
continue the effort for the ensuing four years ; and as the 
Methodist Episcopal General Conference had agreed to 
meet in Brooklyn he agreed to use his influence with his 
body to have it meet in New York, so that the two General 

Conferences, being near together, could the more easily 


consider the matter. But when Bishop Jones got back to 
Washington he found but little union sentiment. We at 
Washington had gathered from the newspapers the real 
sentiment of that body, and had fully realized that Bishop 
Haven could not secure for us what he desired, and he 
was not willing to ask us to accept less than a full recog- 
nition of our Christian manhood. Bishop Haven's prop- 
osition was that in case of union we should have a pro 
rata representation in the Episcopal Board, and that in 
all other respects we should have such recognition as our 
numbers entitled us to. But it was soon discovered that 
the Methodist Episcopal Church as a whole was not ready 
for that. But Bishop Jones was kept so completely sur- 
rounded with the enthusiastic friends of the movement, 
who hoped against hope, that it was impossible for him 
to take in the situation. Having agreed to do what he 
could to have his General Conference meet in New York, 
he felt bound to do so. But when he stated the agree- 
ment and asked the General Conference to agree to go to 
New York the point of order was made that he was dis- 
cussing a question already settled, as we had already 
agreed to meet in Charlotte, N. C. 

The brother who made the motion to meet in Charlotte 
had no notion of changing it, but a sense of justice in- 
duced him to secure for Bishop Jones a fair hearing ; he 
therefore moved to reconsider the motion by which it was 
agreed to meet in Charlotte. Bishop Jones made his 
statement and the Conference adjourned without any 
further action. The matter was overlooked the next 
morning, and the General Conference finally adjourned 
without fixing its next place of meeting. About a year 


before the time for the General Conference to meet the 
matter came up at the meeting of the Board of Bishops. 
Bishop Jones held that the purpose of the General Con- 
ference in reconsidering the motion to meet in Charlotte 
was that it might be changed to New York. The other 
bishops disagreed with him and voted to hold the General 
Conference at Charlotte, N. C. They also voted to meet 
on June 19 instead of May 25. 

It happened that Bishop Jones was chairman of the 
board, and he assumed to veto the action of his colleagues. 
He published that the action of the board was unlawful, and 
as chairman it was his duty to see that the law was carried 
out, and that the General Conference would meet in New 
York on the day fixed by law. The other bishops carried 
the question to the Annual Conferences, and the result 
was that sixteen Conferences voted to sustain the action 
of the majority of the bishops. Nevertheless Bishop 
Jones, with representatives from two or three Confer- 
ences, met in New York on May 25. There being no 
quorum present, they adjourned to meet in Charlotte on 
June 19. Bishop Jones claimed that by this action they 
had made the June meeting a legal one. 

As to the date of meeting, we think Bishop Jones was 
correct. May 25 had been fixed in the Discipline as the 
day on which the General Conference should meet ; it had 
stood so for years, and the Board of Bishops at that time 
was not authorized to change it. As to the place, since 
that had been left unfixed by the General Conference 
there was no other authority to fix it but the board. In 
defending his position at the General Conference Bishop 
Jones made one of his four great speeches. He spoke 


for four hours, and if a vote had been taken at the close 
of his speech, as his friends desired, he would have 
carried a considerable portion of the General Conference 
with him. But Bishop Clinton followed the next day with 
a four hours' speech and carried the Conference his way. 
Bishop Jones saw that the odds were against him, and 
gracefully surrendered, and the matter was amicably set- 
tled. To avoid any such trouble in future the Board of 
Bishops was authorized to change either time or place of 
the meeting of General Conference, should it become 

The other trouble to which we have referred grew out 
of the trial of Bishop Hilliery. That threatened at one 
time to become a very serious matter. The conduct of 
Hilliery had become such that there were frequent com- 
plaints. His intemperance had become notorious. His 
conduct with females was such that families who gladly 
entertained other bishops would not admit him to their 
houses at all. There were most scandalous reports 
respecting him. All the other bishops were urged by 
leading members to do something to stop Hilliery from 
disgracing the connection. The bishops all talked to him, 
but he wholly disregarded their reproof. He claimed that 
they were jealous of his talents and influence, that he was 
the only educated man among us and the only original 
Zionite on the Board. The rest of us, he said, had all 
come from some other Church and were combined against 
him, the only "true blue." We presume that Bishops 
Moore, Jones, and Thompson were members of Zion 
Church before he was born. 

The complaints continued unabated, and finally, at a 


meeting of the Board of Bishops in Petersburg-, Va., 
March, 1883, charges were formulated and signed by 
Bishop Thompson and placed in the hands of Bishop 
Hood, who had charge of the Kentucky Conference. 
The charges did not include the grosser matter, but a 
few of the minor complaints. It was hoped that the 
calling him up on these minor complaints would induce 
him to reform. It was possibly unfortunate that the case 
went to the Kentucky Conference, as it was said that a 
majority of that Conference was pledged to stand by 
him, right or wrong. He had charge of that Conference 
the year previous, and was charged with giving the best 
appointments to certain men for a consideration. The 
majority of the Committee of the Whole voted that the 
charges were not sustained; the chairman fully believed 
that they were sustained. There is a provision in the 
Discipline respecting the trial of members that if the 
chairman of the committee disagrees with a majority of 
the committee respecting the guilt or innocence of the 
accused he may carry the case to the appellate court. 
Under this law the chairman decided to carry the case to 
the General Conference. 

The question then arose as to what position that placed 
Hilliery in until the sitting of the General Conference. 
The bishop was a little slow about ruling on that ques- 
tion. Rev. E. H. Curry pressed him for a decision. 
After consulting with Bishops Jones and Thompson, who 
were present, the chairman decided that it left his case 
pending and silenced him until it could be settled in the 
General Conference. 

From this decision Hilliery appealed, but his appeal 


could only be settled by the General Conference; for 
there is no appeal from a bishop's decision rendered in 
the Annual Conference except to the General Confer- 

Hilliery then went to Philadelphia and got together a 
committee to try Bishop Hood for maladministration, 
based wholly upon his rulings. Without the prelimina- 
ries which the law requires, and without waiting to hear 
from Bishop Hood, the committee declared him suspended. 
The Board of Bishops declared the action of this com- 
mittee null and void. 

Hilliery's next hope was to preside at the Virginia 
Conference, notwithstanding the Board had designated 
Bishop Jones to hold that Conference. Hilliery hoped 
by this means to secure a delegation to the General Con- 
ference and thus be able to threaten a split in the con- 
nection. But the Virginia Conference stood by Bishop 
Jones, and Hilliery was left without a following. 

At the General Conference the first thing to settle was 
as to whether or not Bishop Hood was correct in his 
rulings, i. That the bishop, sitting as chairman of the 
Committee of the Whole, in the trial of a minister, may 
dissent from the decision of the majority and carry the 
case to the General Conference. 2. Does such action 
silence the defendant? There were some other minor 
points on which the bishop ruled during the trial which 
were in Hilliery's favor, and from which the counsel for the 
Church appealed. After the whole matter was fully dis- 
cussed a resolution was adopted confirming all of Bishop 
Hood's decisions. 

These, however, did not touch the merits of Hilliery's 


case. It was in substance only a declaration that the 
matter was properly before the General Conference. If 
Hilliery had then acknowledged his fault and promised 
to do better he would have been borne with, but he 
seemed determined to go to destruction. He finally com- 
pelled the General Conference, by his own conduct, to 
unclothe him of the bishopric and to send the charges to 
an Annual Conference, on which he was tried and de- 
prived of all ministerial functions. He sued two of the 
bishops for $25,000 damage, but finally had the costs to 
pay. He then sued the Connection for $10,400, and the 
costs fell upon him again ; and thus ended one of the most 
trying difficulties with which the Church has had to con- 
tend. We think the moral sentiment of the Church 
and the sagacity of its bishops are evidenced by the fact 
that we were able to unclothe a bishop without splitting 
a single church or losing a member. When we consider 
the effort he put forth to carry ministers and people with 
him it is truly remarkable that he accomplished nothing 
in that direction. He moved into a town in which he 
was once very popular and married into one of the best 
families, hoping thus to get a hold upon the Church 
through his wife's relatives. But he failed, and then 
forsook his wife. Having borne our full share of that 
trouble, we hope never to have another like it. It is to 
be hoped that the Connection will never again exalt such 
a man to that high position. His election was the result 
of a combination engineered by himself. A man truly 
called to the office of bishop does not have any of that 
kind of work to perform to get there. If you see a man 
scheming to get into that office you may know that he 


is not a suitable person to fill it. If lie is the right man 
the office will come to him without any scheming on his 
part. Since the end of our trouble with Hilliery we 
have had smooth sailing. There is now the most perfect 
harmony among the bishops, and each is doing what he 
can to build up the connection. 

The General Conference which met in New York city 
in 1884 made appropriations for the several institutions 
as follows: Livingstone,' 55 ' $6,000; Book Concern, $1,500; 
Star of Zion, $1,200; superannuated ministers, $1,000; 
African Mission, $800. These appropriations were made 
on the recommendation of the bishops, notwithstanding 
they were fully aware that it would prevent them from 
getting more than two thirds of their salary for the en- 
suing four years. They believed that the Church in the 
course of a few years would be able to meet all its de- 
mands, but, whatever happened to them, they felt that 
these institutions could not be permitted to languish for 
the want of the necessary means ; hence the bishops rec- 
ommended the appropriations, so that the institutions 
might be liberally provided for. Some who were per- 
sonally benefited by their great sacrifice have not shown 
the gratitude that might have been expected ; but there 
is a day coming when all shall get what is due. 

This General Conference did one very foolish thing: 
it elected Rev. A. L. Scott editor of the Star of Zion. 
Scott was a very uncertain quantity at best. He had 
recently come from some other Church and sprang up 
among us like a mushroom. He had a kind of " sing- 

* The act of incorporation of Zion Wesley Institute was changed in 
several respects. The title was changed to Livingstone College. 


song " eloquence in preaching which was quite agreeable 
to many intelligent hearers, but he was a great rambler. 
He was but little acquainted with the rules of compo- 
sition, and had none of the qualifications of an editor, 
unless brass is a qualification. It may appear strange 
that the General Conference should elect such a man ; but 
such bodies are sometimes led by influences which they 
do not take time to investigate, and have to repent at 
leisure what was done in haste. This foolish thing was 
done for spite, so the brother who engineered it confessed 
after he had accomplished his purpose. One of the bish- 
ops had said that J. C. Dancy was better situated to take 
charge of the Star than anyone else he knew of at the 
time. At this several ministers took offense. The bishop 
did not say then what we will say now, that in our opin- 
ion Zion Connection has not raised up another man who 
is the equal of Dancy as an editor. It is his peculiar 
calling. But the impression was pretty general that that 
in substance was the bishop's meaning. The brother 
who engineered the election of Scott took very great 
offense. He was connected with the large delegation 
from Alabama, of which Scott was also a member. He 
got that delegation to agree to vote unitedly for any one 
of its members named for any position ; he then sprang 
the nomination of Scott upon the unsuspecting General 
Conference, and he was elected. The movers in this 
spiteful affair, however, were not the men who watched 
the proceedings most closely ; they frequently spent hours 
sight-seeing when important business was being trans- 
acted. Some men are seldom absent in time of business. 
Having accomplished the election of Scott, the movers in 


this measure went the next day, in time of business, out 
to Central Park ; while they were gone the Conference took 
action which effectually put it out of Scott's power to 
take charge of the paper. A motion was adopted that 
all the money coming from the General Fund should be 
paid on the debt of the Star until that debt was settled, 
which amounted to $925. For this debt Rev. J. McH. 
Farley was responsible. He was also business manager, 
and authorized to receive all moneys. This left nothing 
for Scott to work with, and, failing to do, he became 
liable to the charge of neglecting his duty. Thus, prov- 
identially, the connection was saved the disgrace of hav- 
ing an unsuitable person as editor j of our Church organ. 

We may learn from this whole transaction the impor- 
tance of paying attention to business and keeping our 
personal feelings out of our ecclesiastical duties. In this 
case, to prevent a connectional disaster, a remedy had to 
be applied which might have proven as bad as the dis- 
ease. Farley might, with the power the General Con- 
ference gave him, have kept that paper in his own hands 
for four years, to its great injury. Those who put that 
power in his hands believed that he would surrender 
when a better arrangement could be made, and he did 
not disappoint them. But such dangerous remedies 
should never be needed, and they would not be if men 
would act from reason and not from passion. 

There are many men who are not good judges of the 
qualifications of men for certain positions. When we 
have those who are experts on that line we ought to give 
their opinion calm and careful consideration ; we ought 
not to fly in a passion because they express opinions 


respecting a matter which we think is an overestimate. 
We are as likely to be mistaken as they are, and in any 
case they are entitled to their opinion. Besides this, envy 
is an indication of weakness, and is very sinful. It was 
envy that induced the first murder. 

The General Conference which met in New Berne, 
N. C, in May, 1888, did less in the way of lawmaking 
than any that has assembled within our knowledge. 
Two bishops were added to the bench, namely, Charles 
C. Pettey and Cicero R. Harris. Possibly the most im- 
portant thing was the making of Bishop Thompson chair- 
man of the Book Room and authorizing the bishop to 
make whatever changes were necessary to put that insti- 
tution in good running order. The Book Concern is the 
oldest institution in the connection, but it had not up to 
that time been a paying institution. Several thousand 
dollars had been sunk in it with not much to show for it. 
It is now in a hopeful condition. 




The first account of contention among Christians was 
at Corinth. The seeds of contention there sown have 
produced a fearful crop. The contention has not been 
limited to individual Christians, but has extended to 
Christian bodies. Not only has one said, "I am for 
Paul," and another, "I am for Apollos," but each has 
anathematized the other. One Christian body has tried 
to destroy another Christian body. This spirit, in our 
opinion, is that beast which is to be destroyed before the 
millennium. See Rev. xix, 19, 20. This beast is sup- 
posed to symbolize papacy. And so it may symbolize the 
persecuting spirit of papacy. But that spirit is just as 
bad anywhere else as in the Church of Rome. That 
Church has had a better opportunity to exhibit its 
persecuting disposition than any other. We believe 
there are other Churches which have the disposition to 
swallow every other Church in as large a degree as the 
Church of Rome. And we presume that nearly every 
branch of the Christian Church has been opposed by 
some one particular branch more than all others. The 
conflict between the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Eng- 
land and the Primitive Methodist Church was the cause 
of the only unpleasant episode that occurred in the sit- 
tings of the great Ecumenical Conference in Washington, 
D. C, in 1891. A person who watched closely could see 


that there was a pretty sharp contest between the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South. 

Fit has fallen to the lot of the African Methodist Epis- 
copal Zion Church to have the African Methodist Episco- 
pal (Bethel) Church as its great antagonist. That Church 
has shown more opposition to Zion than all others put 
together. There has been much talk of union between 
the two Churches, but there is in fact very little union 
sentiment in Bethel Church, either among members or 
ministers. There has never been much desire in that 
Church for a union with Zion. There has been a desire 
in that Church from its earliest existence to absorb the 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. Bishop Allen 
was hardly warm in his office before he cast an avari- 
cious eye upon the little nucleus of the rising African 
Methodist Episcopal Zion Connection, the Zion and As- 
bury Churches. He found himself a bishop with only 
two churches. There was an independent colored Meth- 
odist Church in Wilmington, Del., but Peter Spencer 
had been made the chief minister of that organization, 
and was Allen's senior by three years, and a man of 
strong will, great energy, and a natural born leader. 
There was, therefore, no chance for Bishop Allen to ex- 
tend his episcopal oversight in that direction. The only 
other colored Methodist Churches North at that time 
were the Zion and Asbury Churches in New York city, 
and a few other small organizations in that vicinity, con- 
nected with them. To these he went, hoping they 
would recognize his bishopric and take shelter within 
his fold. His followers long cherished that hope. His 


appearance among them was entirely too arrogant, espe- 
cially so in consideration of the fact that they knew from 
whence his bishopric was derived. He failed utterly 
with Zion, but through the influence of William Miller, 
who united with him, he secured a portion of the 
members of Asbury Church, and was thus enabled to 
form the nucleus of his Church in that city. He also 
captured the church at Flushing, L. I. These were 
the first secessions from the Zion Connection, and were 
induced by the bishop of the African Methodist Episco- 
pal Church, which thing has been occasionally repeated 
and has been a cause of bitterness between the two 

A little later some of the Zion brothers went to Phila- 
delphia and received the Wesley Church, which Bishop 
Allen expected to cover in that city, and this was re- 
garded as secession from Bethel ; and from that time 
onward, occasionally, a church has been detached from 
one of these organizations and taken into the other. 
The Bethel Churches in Middletown, N. Y., Middletown, 
Pa., and in York and Mechanicsburg of the latter State, 
and St. Paul's African Methodist Episcopal Church in 
Washington, are all splits from the African Methodist 
Episcopal Zion Church. The same is true as to the 
African Methodist Episcopal Churches at Kingston and 
Elmira, N. Y. The Bethel Church at Bridgeport, Conn., 
was originally a Zion Church ; some Bethel members 
from other places became connected therewith and suc- 
ceeded in electing a majority of the board of trustees, 
and these voted to have a Bethel minister. When this 
was done the Zion people left their own church and 


built another. Bethel still has our church. During the 
last ten years we have occupied a few churches which 
formerly belonged to Bethel ; but in each case we have 
stepped in and bought the church after they had lost it. 
We have not stolen any of their churches. That Church 
has through all its history been making attacks upon us 
from one standpoint or another. One of the stories which 
has been circulated by them is that Zion is a split from 
Bethel. The only possible foundation for this story is 
that in a few instances Churches have split off from 
Bethel and come to Zion. But for this very same reason 
Bethel might with greater propriety be called a split from 
Zion, for the third church that Bethel had was a split 
from Zion. But in perfect fairness it cannot be said that 
either is a split from the other. Both cf these Churches 
came out from the Methodist Episcopal Church, Zion in 
New York and Bethel in Philadelphia, and each inde- 
pendent of the other. Each is an offshoot from the 
mother of Methodist Episcopal Churches. 

Bethel has claimed to be the older Church, and has 
used this claim very freely in her attempts to supplant 
Zion in places where Zion had the start. This claim, for 
many years, was based upon the idea that Zion was 
formed in 1820. This idea is erroneous. About 1821 
is the time when the first regular Conference was held. 
The Church had then been in existence about twenty-five 
years. It was incorporated in the year 1 80 1 . The Act of 
Incorporation is still on record in New York city. The 
Church was organized in 1796, and was beyond all ques- 
tion the first Methodist Church, white or colored, that 
was formed independent of the Methodist Episcopal 


Church. -The organization was composed of colored 
members of the John Street Methodist Church, the first 
of American Methodist Churches. The title under which 
it was incorporated was " The African Methodist Episcopal 
Church; " but because the first Church was called Zion, 
and to distinguish ourselves from Bethel Church, which 
took the same title, " Zion " was added as a part of the 
connectional title. Up to 1864 the connections were 
generally spoken of as Bethel and Zion, and in many- 
places in the North they are still so designated. In 
going South the Bethel people undertook to represent 
their Church as preeminently the ' ' African Methodist 
Episcopal Church," and to that end they tried to drop 
the " Bethel." We say " tried," for they did not always 
succeed ; sometimes a Church was organized by a minis- 
ter accustomed to harping on Bethel, and in such places 
Bethel became as " pat " as it is in Philadelphia. 

The fact that Zion Church had the service of the 
Methodist Episcopal preachers up to 1820 is taken as 
evidence that Zion had not separated from the Methodist 
Episcopal Church ; but the kind of service received from 
the Methodist Episcopal Church at that time might be 
received now. As a matter of convenience Methodist 
Episcopal preachers, for a consideration, might render 
all the service now which was then rendered without 
interfering with our independence ; they simply preached 
and administered the sacrament. This service was ren- 
dered under articles of agreement between the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church of the United States of America 
on the one part and the trustees of the African Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church on the other part. 


In this agreement two distinct Church organizations 
are recognized, the Methodist Episcopal Church and the 
African Methodist Episcopal Church. And this agree- 
ment was made in April, 1801. Here the record shows 
that Zion Church in 1 80 1 at New York was recognized 
as an independent body known as the African Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church. Article V provides and declares 
that none but Africans and their descendants shall be 
chosen as trustees of this Church, or of any other Church 
property under this incorporation. In Article VI it was 
provided that no persons should be admitted into close 
connection with their classes, or be enrolled on their 
books as members, other than Africans or their de- 

The fact that there were five churches represented and 
six or eight ministers present at the first Conference 
shows that they had been working up a connection prior 
to that time. Bishop Jones, in his generosity, admitted 
that while as a Church Zion was the older body, yet 
Bethel established her itinerant system first. I am not 
sure that we should admit that much. Bishop Jones was 
so anxious for a union between the two bodies that he 
always handled Bethel as tenderly as possible, except 
when they drew him out by some unreasonable assump- 
tion. At Columbia, S. C, eight hundred members in a 
body went out from Bethel and sent for one of Zion's 
bishops to go and receive them into our connection. 
Unfortunately for Zion, Bishop Jones was then on that 
district, and when he went to receive them they wanted 
an assurance from him that there was no likelihood of a 

union between Zion and Bethel. Negotiations were then 


in progress, and Bishop Jones had great hope of union, 
and manifested vexation at their request for such an 
assurance. He failed to receive them. Had this writer 
been there he would have received them. He could hon- 
estly have given the assurance they wanted, for he has 
never, since 1864, thought there was any likelihood of a 
union. Bishop Jones could not honestly have given such 
assurance ; his desire for union was so great that he 
thought he could see it coming. 

Since it has been shown that 1796 was the date of the 
organization of Zion Church some men in Bethel Church 
have attempted to get behind that date and to claim that 
the first movement for the organization of Bethel Church 
was in 1787 ; and an attempt was made to get up a cen- 
tennial celebration in 1887, but it proved a most ridicu- 
lous failure, because it was known to be a sham. Their 
history shows that Richard Allen, their founder and their 
first bishop, was a member of the Quarterly Conference 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1 804. If he founded 
a separate Church in 1787, how was it that he continued 
a member of the Quarterly Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in 1804? It will not do to make a man 
too many things at once. There was a movement about 
1787, but it was not the Bethel movement, nor did it result 
in establishing an African Methodist Episcopal Church. It 
is quite likely that it had that object in view in its incep- 
tion, but if it had it was turned aside from its purpose. 

About this period, or a little later, a considerable num- 
ber of the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 
Philadelphia desired to have a church and preacher of 
their own. The authorities of the Methodist Episcopal 


Church refused to grant their request. They appealed to 
Bishop White, of the Protestant Episcopal Church. He 
agreed to their request provided they would unite with 
his Church.- They agreed, and Absalom Jones was taken 
under course of instruction, and ordained, first a deacon 
and afterward a priest. Thus was formed St. Thomas's 
Protestant Episcopal Church. This was the result of the 
movement in 1787, or later, of which historians of the 
African Methodist Episcopal Church have made so much, 
and which they have tried to make people believe had 
some connection with the history of the formation of their 
Church, which, according to their own history, took place 
twenty-nine years later. 

This story reminds us of an anecdote we have heard 
told of a slaveholder who frequently spun hard yarns, 
and if they were doubted would turn to a slave boy, who 
was pretty good at fixing up such stories, to substantiate 
what he had said. One day he told a story of an extraor- 
dinary shot he had made. He had put a ball through 
a deer's right hind foot and right ear. When the crowd 
seemed to be doubtful the boy was appealed to as usual. 
" Yes, that's so," said the boy. One of the crowd then 
asked, ' ' How was it done, Sam ? " " Why, " replied Sam, 
" just as massa was about to shoot the deer put up his hind 
foot to scratch his ear and the ball passed through both." 
He got his master out of the difficulty, but when they were 
alone again he said, " Massa, don't spread the ball so 
much next time ; I had hard work to get that one together." 

This story of twenty-nine years from the time they 
began to organize till the organization was an accom- 
plished fact is spreading it out pretty well. It will take 


a mighty scratching- of the ear with the hind foot to get 
that ball through both these periods. 

Bishop Allen, according to his own statement, given 
by Bishop D. A. Payne in his History of the African 
MetJwdist Episcopal Church (vol. i, chapter xi), made no 
attempt to organize an African Methodist Church until 
about 1793, and that proved a failure. Bishop Allen, 
speaking of the church erected at that time, says : 

" We intended it for the African preaching house or church ; but finding 
the elder stationed in the city was such an opposer of our proceedings of 
erecting a place of worship, though the principal part of the directors of 
this church belonged to the Methodist Connection, and that he would 
neither preach for us nor have anything to do with us, we held an election 
to know what religious denomination we would unite with. At this 
election it was determined. There were two in favor of the Methodist, 
Rev. Absalom Jones and myself, and a large majority in favor of the 
Church of England. This majority carried." 

Thus it is seen in this history of Bishop Allen, written 
by himself, that his effort to provide a preaching house 
for colored Methodist preachers was a total failure. 
When the test came there was only one besides himself 
who favored remaining in the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, and the preference of that one (Absalom Jones) 
was overcome by Bishop White, who ordained him a 
deacon and made him pastor of this colored flock in the 
Protestant Episcopal Church. 

But what was this movement which failed? Certainly 
it was not a movement looking to the establishment of 
an independent African Church. That seems not to 
have been thought of. The only question considered 
was which of the white denominations they chose to 
adhere to. 

Mr. Allen was offered the pastorate of this flock, but 


he refused it, declaring that he could not be any other 
but a. Methodist. Though the ministers had not treated 
him nor his people fairly, he saw nothing to do but 
remain under them. We have the notion that if the 
idea of an independent African Methodist Church had 
dawned upon him as it did upon James Varick he 
might have held that people over whom he was having 
so great influence. 

In 1794 he commenced again in the interest of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. He bought a blacksmith's 
shop and had it fitted up for a house of worship. Bishop 
Asbury accepted it as such and preached in it, and thus 
encouraged the work. Though not a member of Con- 
ference, Allen had for many years traveled as an itiner- 
ant preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church. As- 
bury had taken a special interest in him, and as he had 
remained after Absalom Jones, with nearly all the col- 
ored members, had gone to the Protestant Episcopal 
Church he enjoyed special favors and was permitted to 
preach to the flock he had begun again to gather, and in 
1799 he was ordained a deacon. 

It was not until the cruelty and unfairness of the 
preachers stationed in Philadelphia became utterly un- 
endurable that Allen was driven, contrary to his incli- 
nation, to establish an independent Church. 

It is a remarkable fact that Bishop Payne gives a very 
interesting history of the life and work of Bishop Allen, 
written by himself, and covering the period of ten years 
from 1784 to 1794, but there it suddenly breaks off. The 
question naturally arises in the mind, Did his personal 
account of himself end in 1794 (thirty-six years before 


his death), or has it been found necessary to suppress it? 
After 1 794 we have only a very fragmentary account of 
him till near the year 1816, at which time he came out 
from the Methodist Episcopal Church. After that till 
his death we have a very satisfactory account. 

It does not need a microscope to discover that during 
the twenty-two years about which there is silence he was 
trying as hard as he could to work for the upbuilding of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, and 
that if God had not purposely made the Methodist 
Episcopal preachers mad, or hardened their hearts as 
he did Pharaoh's, in the interest of his oppressed 
people, Allen would have remained in that Church. 
But Varick had formed a separate organization in New 
York, and Spencer had formed a separate organization 
in Wilmington, and it became a necessity for Allen to do 
the same. To get the lead of those who had started on the 
independent line before him, he had himself proclaimed 
a bishop, though he had received only two ordinations. 

It fell to our lot to be particularly well situated to learn 
the early history of the Bethel Church in Philadelphia. 
Our mother in her youth was a member of that church. 
We have frequently heard her tell the history of that 
church, and that of Peter Spencer's church, in Wilming- 
ton, Del., the second church to which she belonged. 
Nothing is more firmly fixed in our mind. Our mother 
was a woman of extraordinary intelligence, and deeply 
interested in the Church and whatever pertained to 
the interest of the African race in America. Though 
circumstances compelled her to leave Bethel Church, yet 
she always retained a high regard for that church, and 


she attended it till the time of her death when in Phila- 
delphia. Four of her daughters have been members of 
that church ; one died a member, and two still remain 
members, and she could have had no interest in mis- 
representing - it. Its history, as coming from her, is that 
the building of Bethel Church was commenced about 
1809. The church was built under the title of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, but the purpose of the 
colored people was to have an organization of their own, 
which, after a struggle during several years, they suc- 
ceeded in effecting in 18 16. She had, however, left 
Philadelphia before they separated from the white 
Church. She married our father in 18 13, and moved to 
Wilmington, Del., his home. Leaving Philadelphia, she 
took a certificate from Bethel Church, which was then 
under the Methodist Episcopal Church. She arrived at 
Wilmington about the time Peter Spencer withdrew from 
the Methodist Episcopal Church under the following 
circumstances: Spencer was a leading member of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilmington, called Zion 
(Zion seems to have been a favorite title with the colored 
Methodists). In 1806 they built a new house of worship, 
called the " stone house," corner of Ninth and French 
Streets. The colored people built it themselves, and 
supposed that when they had built it they could control 
it. But, like the people in Philadelphia, they made the 
mistake of taking the deed for the ground in the name of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church. When the church was 
completed the bishop appointed a preacher in charge 
without consulting their wishes. This brought on a law- 
suit which lasted for seven years. Delaware was a slave 


State, and there was not much chance for colored people 
against a body of white people as strong and influential 
as the Methodist Episcopal Church. Spencer found that 
the courts were against him, and he made up his mind 
to give up the stone house, which he had held up to that 
time by appeals from court to court, the court of last 
resort having decided against him. He called a meeting, 
announced the situation, and said, " You that are with 
me, follow me." He had purchased a lot on the opposite 
side of the street, and thereupon built a house which his 
enemies called a " pigeon box." 

When our mother reached Wilmington with her certifi- 
cate from Bethel, Philadelphia, those who had remained 
with the Methodist Episcopal Church in the ' ' stone house" 
endeavored to persuade her to deposit her certificate there, 
as that was the same as the church from which she had 
come. She declined, saying, "No, I will go to the 
' pigeon box' with my husband." Thus we see that Bethel 
Church still remained in the Methodist Episcopal Church 
at the time she left it, and there never would have been 
any pretense that the African Methodist Episcopal (Bethel) 
Church had any organization earlier than 1816, only for 
the purpose of claiming to be older than Zion. 

Bishop Turner, in his Church Polity, speaks of Peter 
Spencer as having been connected with Bishop Allen. 
Nothing could be more erroneous ; Spencer's movement 
as an independent Church began before Allen's, and he 
left the Methodist Episcopal Church three years before 
Allen. He claimed to be the ' ' first of all colored leaders " 
to declare a complete and absolute ecclesiastical inde- 
pendence of the white Church. Hence it is seen that 


Bethel was not the first but the third organization of 
colored Methodists. 

There is another point upon which Bethel has made 
Zion Church the special object of attack ; that is, the 
bishopric. Small preachers have gone through the coun- 
try saying, "Zion has no bishops." One preacher in 
North Carolina used to say, " Hood's no bishop, he is an 
elder." In this he showed his ignorance, for a Church 
that can .make an elder can make a bishop if it so desires. 
But such ignorant statements have their effect upon igno- 
rant people, and we know from experience that for sev- 
eral years in many places in the South thousands of 
people have been kept out of our Church by the efforts of 
men who made it their business to convey the impression 
that something was wrong with Zion's episcopacy. Nor 
has it been small men alone who have made this fight ; 
even bishops have descended to this low style of attack. 
We remember visiting a Conference held in Raleigh, 
N. C, by a Bethel bishop several years ago, and he in- 
troduced us as " Hood of Zion." He had been telling 
his men that Zion had no bishops, and he could not con- 
sistently introduce us as bishop. We have seldom visited 
any of their Conferences since that time. 

The question may arise as to why this Church is so 
anxious to discount our episcopacy. We think it is be- 
cause they have set up a claim for themselves which the 
facts do not warrant, and they hope to divert attention 
from their own by raising a dust about ours. Some 
of their ministers have gone so far as to claim apostolic 
succession ; and this is based upon the claim that Bishop 
White, of the Protestant Episcopal Church, ordained 


Richard Allen. Now, the absurdity of this claim will 
appear at once to any man who thinks. Was a bishop 
of a Protestant Episcopal Church ever known to ordain 
a bishop for any other denomination? Absurdity is 
stamped upon the face of this story. Another claim set 
up is that Absalom Jones, a priest in the Protestant 
Episcopal Church, ordained Richard Allen. We have it 
on good authority — that of his daughter — that this state- 
ment, coming to the ears of Absalom Jones, was denied 
by him. He said he was present as a spectator but took 
no part in the ceremony. Does it look reasonable that a 
priest in a Protestant Episcopal Church could ordain a 
Methodist bishop and not be called to account for it? 
Moreover, it is not generally conceded that a single priest 
can ordain a bishop. But if Absalom Jones ordained 
Allen, as one portion of the African Methodist Episcopal 
brethren claim, what has become of that claim of another 
portion, just as strongly put forth, that Bishop White 
ordained him? It is questionable whether Absalom 
Jones was an elder in 1816. We know that the Epis- 
copal Church (even with white ministers who have had 
better advantages than we can suppose Absalom Jones 
had at the period in which he lived) moves slowly. 

But the third claim of the African Methodist Episco- 
pal historian is that Richard Allen was ordained by five 
elders. Now, if this is true the two former claims were 
not true. If either of them was true when they were 
positively stated by Bishop Ouinn and others, this is not 

We have heard well-informed Bethel men, even bishops, 
at different periods set up the three conflicting claims, 


and each told his story as positively as if he knew it to 
be true. In these three conflicting statements respect- 
ing Allen's ordination who is to decide which is true 
or whether or not any of them is true? Let us look 
at this last statement in the light of some stubborn 
facts. It is agreed that Allen was the first man in that 
Church who was made a minister. Those ordained by 
him are supposed to have been ordained after he was 
made a bishop. Where did the five elders come from? 
There was no other colored Methodist elder in existence 
except Peter Spencer. If five regularly ordained white 
presbyters officiated why were their names not given? 
Does not any thoughtful man know that if this were true 
the names of the elders would have to be laid in rock, 
graven with an iron pen? They would not for many 
years have circulated the story that Bishop White or- 
dained Allen if they could have given the names of five 
white elders who performed the ceremony. 

But we have it from two eyewitnesses that there was 
not an elder present. Rev. David Stevens, whose 
honesty and straightforwardness were proverbial, told us 
that he was present and saw the ceremony performed, 
and that there was not an elder present. Mr. Vanbrackle, 
a member of Bethel Church, told us the same thing. 
Both of these eyewitnesses state that Absalom Jones 
was present, but that he was at that time only a deacon. 
Hence we state on the authority of two witnesses that 
there was not an elder present at that ceremony. 

Now, in all this confusion and uncertainty about the 
origin of their own episcopacy, it is easy to see why they 
seek to discredit ours. We were the only body of Chris- 


tians likely to raise a question as to the validity of their 
episcopacy; therefore, if they could have gotten us to 
accept it it would have been safe. If in the platform 
adopted by the convention of 1 864 we had agreed that 
they should ordain our bishops, their purpose would have 
been accomplished. Their discovering, at the last mo- 
ment, before the adjournment of the convention, that 
we intended to ordain our own bishops, before the con- 
solidation, was the secret cause of their refusing to sub- 
mit the platform to their people for ratification. We then 
had superintendents elected for four years and put in 
office without any written ceremony. It is a fact that 
three of the first four superintendents served as long as 
they lived, the other one until long after he lost his eye- 
sight ; but the form of an election was gone through with 
once in four years. It was seen that it was only a matter 
of time when we would elect for life and install by a cer- 
emonial consecration. 

The Bethel people thought that if a union could be 
effected in 1864 under the agreement that all the bishops 
should be made for life, and they could have the priv- 
ilege of ordaining our bishops when the consolidation 
took place, they would at last have accomplished what 
Allen went to New York for soon after he was made 
bishop. We suppose many have wondered why they 
failed to submit to their people the platform which they 
had helped to build in 1 864. There is no mystery about 
it with those who studied them during' the sitting of that 
convention. They failed to accomplish that for which 
they hoped when they went into convention. The Zion 
men sized them up quickly, and maneuvered to keep them 


from learning till the last moment that they could not 
accomplish their object. There were several points of 
difference in the two connections. Most of them were 
considered of minor importance. Two or three points 
of difference had respect to the rights of the laity. On 
these points Zion was unwilling to yield much, as the)' 
knew that anything which would have the tendency to 
arouse opposition among the laity would damage the 
prospect of union. There were some other points of 
difference which we were more willing to yield. We got 
over the question of title quite easily. The two con- 
nections were distinguished by Zion and Bethel, and it 
was agreed to drop these terms and call the consolidated 
connection the " United African Methodist Episcopal 
Church." There was no difficulty about adopting this 
title then. Bethel had not up to that time specially 
harped on the term African. Up to that time Zion was 
as much the African Methodist Episcopal Church as 
Bethel was. But the effort since that time to make the 
Bethel Church preeminently the African Methodist Epis- 
copal Church has changed the relation of the two 
churches to that title. 

The main question about which there was any difficulty 
at that time was the episcopacy. Zion had an elective 
superintendency, and Bethel had the lifetime bishopric. 


One thing which made this an opportune time for the 
union was the fact that a majority of the ministers in 
Zion Connection were ready for the change to the life- 
time bishopric, and were only held back by a small 
minority. This majority was the more ready for a union 
because they saw that it would be the easier way to reach 


their object. Nevertheless we made a show of fight, as 
though we were unitedly attached to the elective super- 
intendency. ■ 

The question of episcopacy was about midway in the 
articles of agreement as first drawn up for discussion. 
The articles which preceded it were adopted after a lively 
but very pleasant discussion. But when we came to the 
question of episcopacy it was found that we were going 
to have an interesting struggle. It was then that S. T. 
Jones made the speech which made him a bishop four 
years later. He would possibly have been elected at that 
time, but the men to be elected had been agreed upon, as 
is too often the case, before the General Conference met. 
When we reached this subject the whole question of 
episcopacy came up. Bishop Payne made a long and 
learned speech defining the position and claims of his 
Church. Bishop Jones in reply stated our position. He 
stated, in substance, that there was authority lodged 
within the Church to make such officers as it needed for 
the efficiency of the work ; that our Church, having regu- 
larly ordained elders, had the power to make bishops, 
if it chose to do so; that we had an elective superin- 
tendency, elected for four years as matter of choice ; that 
our superintendents were bishops in fact to all intents and 
purposes ; that for the sake of union our people might 
possibly consent to adopt a ceremonial consecration and 
to elect our bishops for life, or during good behavior. 

This speech drew from Bishop Payne the acknowledg- 
ment that if our General Conference should elect our 
bishops for life, and elect three elders to ordain them, 
they would be as legal bishops as he was. ' Bishop Payne 


was an acknowledged authority in that Church, and 
some of his men seemed to regret that he had been com- 
pelled to make that admission. But in view of the fact 
that the Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
provides that in case there be no bishops three elders 
shall be elected to ordain a bishop there was no other 
conclusion to come to. At this point some of the Bethel 
men began to show a disposition to give up the union. 
They began to see the tendency of things, that after all 
we were not dependent upon them or anybody else for 
the lifetime bishopric when we got ready to adopt it. 
And we began to understand them as we never had 
before. Up to that time they had hoped to make bishops 
for us in case of union, and they felt that to fail in that 
was to lose all the glory of the union ; without that 
there was nothing in it for them. 

It seemed for a time that we could get no further. 
Rev. J. W. Loguen (afterward bishop) suggested that 
we go to the other end and work up to the bishop from 
that end. He said he had noticed that sometimes when 
the cars were on an upgrade and could not go for- 
ward they backed. He thought as we had run up to this 
article on one side we might go to the other side and 
back up to it. If we found that we could agree on every 
other article there would be the greater reason to try to 
come to an agreement on this. We had agreed among 
ourselves to accept the lifetime bishopric, when we 
came to that point, but did not intend to let it be known 
until the time came to meet that question. Loguen's 
suggestion was agreed to, and we went to the other end 
of the articles of agreement and worked back to the 


question of episcopacy from that end. We agreed upon 
every article almost unanimously. We arranged every 
detail for submitting the platform to the people, the 
Annual and General Conferences. Everything else was 
completely provided for, so that if we could come to an 
agreement on the bishopric there would be nothing to do 
but to adjourn and go to the people with the matter, with 
the hope of a union in about fifteen months' time. And 
if the Bethel delegates and bishops had gone to their 
people in the same spirit that the Zion men did that 
would undoubtedly have been the result. 

When everything else had been settled we approached 
the vexed question. It was not nearly so much of a ques- 
tion with us as it may have seemed to them, as we, at 
the commencement, had calculated on yielding to them 
on that question by adopting the lifetime bishopric. We 
therefore came to that subject with the following prop- 
ositions : 1 . That we adopt for the united connection 
the superintendency as it exists in Zion Church, or the 
lifetime bishopric as it exists in Bethel Church, as a 
majority of the convention shall decide. 2. Provided 
that in case we agree to adopt the lifetime bishopric 
the General Conference of the Zion Church shall be 
called in extraordinary session and our bishops elected 
for life and ordained before the union is consummated, 
so that when we meet for the consolidation we shall 
each have bishops of equal standing. 

It seems to us that a more reasonable compromise 
could not have been asked nor less accepted than this. 
But the sequel will show that the Bethel men had other 
notions. The first question voted on was that we adopt 


the superintendency as it exists in the Zion Church. As 
it had been agreed that just enough of our men were to 
vote with them to defeat this proposition it was defeated 
by a close vote. 

The next proposition was that we adopt the lifetime 
bishopric. This was adopted by a close vote. The last 
proposition to be considered was the proviso that before 
the final consummation of the union the General Confer- 
ence of the Zion Church should be called in extraordinary 
session and the bishops elected for life and ordained. 
On this question the convention was a tie ; but according 
to the rules of the convention in case of a tie the chair- 
man had the casting vote. Bishop Clinton was in the 
chair and voted for the proposition, and it was then 
adopted. When the announcement was made Rev. R. 
H. Cain and A. L. Stanford cried out almost simultane- 
ously, "To your tents, O Israel!" A delegate on the 
Zion side asked, " Why to your tents so hastily?" This 
set them to thinking, and the cooler heads soon devised 
a means to get out of the difficulty. The chief secretary 
and the assistant, who had kept the minutes, were Zion 
men. If they had left the convention unceremoniously 
they would have placed themselves at great disadvantage. 
They had allowed us to do nearly all the work, and the 
papers were all in our hands, and Bishop Clinton was 
chairman of that session. If they had left the conven- 
tion we had only to publish the facts to show that they 
were entirely to blame for the failure to unite. They 
therefore asked that we have another session. We asked 
for what another session was desired, when everything 
had been completed. There was absolutely nothing 



more that we could do to further the union. We be- 
lieved that they had some scheme to get the advantage, 
but we could not think what. We thought, however, 
that we had nothing to fear, and we consented. Not- 
withstanding it was our day to have the chairman, they 
took advantage of the fact that this was an extra session, 
and had Bishop Campbell in the chair before the hour to 
which we had adjourned. 

When we assembled one of their delegates (Chaplain 
Hunter or A. L. Stanford, we are not certain which) 
had a long preamble and resolutions ; the preamble 
stated the facts of our having assembled and what we 
had accomplished. The substance of the resolutions was 
that we put off the final consummation of the union for 
four years, each party doing all it could for its own side 
during that time. For this all their delegates voted. 
All of our delegates voted against it, but Bishop Camp- 
bell gave the casting vote in its favor, according to their 
arrangement. We then understood that at least a part 
of their purpose in having another session was to get 
Bishop Campbell in the chair to give the casting vote. 
A recess long enough to prepare the resolutions would 
have been all that was necessary otherwise. There 
would have been no harm in those resolutions if they 
had honestly intended to take the four years in preparing 
their people for the change as they stated. But that was 
not their purpose. They meant the same as when they 
cried, "To your tents, O Israel!" except that they did 
not act so honestly. They meant to defeat the union, 
because they believed that we intended to make our 
own bishops. This was shown by the fact that they did 


not submit the matter to their people at all. We had 
thousands of copies of the platform published at our own 
expense, and supplied their ministers, one of whom ad- 
mitted that he had a satchel full of them, and did not 
even show them to the ministers stationed nearest to him, 
It is doubtful if any considerable number of the Bethel 
people ever saw that platform or had any idea why the 
measure failed. 

We have not believed since that time that there has 
been any honest purpose on the part of a majority of the 
leaders in that Church to unite with Zion Church on any 
fair terms. Bishop Payne has honestly desired and 
worked for a union, and he alone of the older bishops. 
We think possibly of those later elected, Bishops Gains, 
Handy, and Grant may be counted as honestly in favor 
of union. If we were asked to-day our opinion respect- 
ing the union of these two bodies we should say we think 
there is but little hope. We have elected and ordained 
our bishops for life, and they have now given up all hope 
of gaining anything on that line. 

Since the foregoing was written the union movement 
has been started again, and a very vague and unsatisfac- 
tory platform, adopted by the two General Conferences, 
is being submitted to the people. The result of this 
third effort will be a subject for the future historian. 
We expect nothing but talk. 




Every denomination has its peculiar characteristics. 
We know the ministers of some denominations almost at 
a glance. Each denomination seems to fix its mark, 
more or less distinctly, upon its members. The founders 
of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church were 
quiet, unassuming, humble, and unpretending men. 
They had deep convictions as to the civil and religious 
rights of men. They meant as far as possible to main- 
tain their own rights, but they went about it in an unos- 
tentatious manner. They were distinguished for firm- 
ness of purpose, but the carrying out of their purpose 
was accomplished with as little noise as possible. This 
may be seen in the ministry and membership to-day. 
This characteristic has been taken by some for want of 
snap, and by some we have been underestimated. This 
fact was especially noted in the convention of the two 
African Methodist Episcopal Churches in Philadelphia in 
1 864. The Bethel brethren presumed that their men were 
generally so much stronger than the Zion men that they had 
no occasion for a careful selection of delegates to meet the 
Zion men ; any of their men were thought to be sufficient. 
But we had not been in session long when it was discov- 
ered that the men they had selected were no matches 
for the ,Zion men. The numbers were equal, and the 


fact that a platform was adopted with which we were 
entirely satisfied, but which they were unwilling to sub- 
mit to their people, shows that the Zion delegates were 
abundantly able to take care of their own interests. Ex- 
actly the same thing happened in the second effort to 
unite the two connections. The joint commission which 
met in Washington City in 1885 adopted a platform, 
which our bishops were willing to submit to our people ; 
but the Bethel bishops, with one exception, voted against 
it. The third attempt to unite the two connections 
seems likely to result as its predecessors, and for the 
same reason. 

It thus seems evident that by some means our dele- 
gates in convention were regarded as having taken too 
good care of our interests. The idea in Zion is that there 
is not much in noise. Some of us in this day think that 
we have been too quiet, and the present tendency is 
toward a little more show. Some of our young men are 
inclined to imitate the ostentation of somebody else ; but 
it will be a long while before the connection loses its 
quiet characteristics. 

Another characteristic is the disinclination to proselyte. 
We have frequently heard our ministers in times of re- 
vival say to the people, " Get religion, and then join what- 
ever church you choose." We have said it ourself. And 
when the converts are wavering and undecided we say, 
"Let them alone, let them be persuaded in their own 
minds." Some of our members say, " They shall not say 
I persuaded them;" and thousands of those converted by 
our ministry are thus encouraged to go to other denomi- 
nations, or at least permitted to go without any effort on 


our part to induce them to come to us. This foolish thing 
is carried so far that even parents often refuse to make any 
effort to keep their own children within their own Church. 
The Church is making some improvement on this line, 
but the improvement is not near rapid enough. It is 
well enough for evangelists to tell people to join what 
Church they choose, but the ministers of a regularly or- 
ganized Church should do what they can, in reason, to 
gather their converts into their own Church. If they do 
not feel to do this they are better fitted for evangelists 
than for pastors. 

The Church has taken a high stand on moral questions. 
Some writer has said that the African Methodist Episco- 
pal Zion Church has peculiar notions on the subjects of 
marriage and divorce. That writer must have been at 
a loss to know what to write. There is not a particle of 
truth in the statement. The views of the African Metho- 
dist Episcopal Zion Church on this subject are in accord 
with those of the other branches of the Methodist Church. 
The law is as follows : 

" No man who has two or more living wives, nor woman who has two 
or more living husbands, shall be admitted as a member of our Church, 
except they were unavoidably separated by slavery, so as not to have the 
least prospect of being together again in this life ; or except the separation 
was on scriptural grounds, fornication (Matt, xix, 9) ; in both of which 
cases the clearest proof must be given to the pastor in charge, called upon 
to take cognizance of the case. And if any pastor in charge receiving in- 
formation to that effect respecting any person or persons applying for 
membership in our societies shall fail to investigate the case and shall 
thereby admit such person or persons in the Church wrongfully, such 
pastor shall be deemed guilty of immorality. 

" Divorce. Our ministers shall discourage the procuring of divorces 
except where they are to be procured on scriptural grounds. All divorces 
not thus obtained shall subject the person so offending to trial according 
to Discipline." 


The first exception in the foregoing recognized that 
some slaves were parted against their will. This was a 
separation unavoidable on their part, and it frequently- 
happened that they never met again. In such cases 
they were allowed to marry again. Of course when 
there ceased to be any such condition of affairs there was 
no further application of that exception to the law. It 
remains in the Discipline as a relic of the accursed in- 
stitution, atid reminds the children of what their parents 

There is no Church more pronounced in its opposition 
to loose marriage laws. No looseness of life is tolerated 
in our Church. The law is sufficient and its administra- 
tion rigid. It is not always that the accused gets the 
benefit of a reasonable doubt. In our experience we 
have found it harder to protect those as to whose guilt 
we were doubtful than to convict those whom we be- 
lieved to be guilty. No doubt but there are guilty per- 
sons among us who escape punishment, as there are in 
all Churches ; yet it is not on account of a lack of effort to 
maintain a pure Church. Both the ministers and laity 
in Zion Church know that they are expected to live pure 
lives, and if they fail to so live the fact must be kept well 
hidden. And there is no one so high but he can be 
reached. Well-supported charges against a bishop would 
be investigated as surely and as quickly as against a less 
important personage. We can name quite a number 
of ministers who have been expelled from our Church 
after conviction on charges of gross immorality who are 
now occupying the pulpits of other denominations. 

Our Church has always supported the temperance 


cause. The use of intoxicating drinks is forbidden. The 
law at one time read, " Except for mechanical or medici- 
nal purposes; " but an abuse of this section having been 
discovered it was stricken out. No person would be 
called to account for taking medicine prescribed by a 
physician, but the members can learn this without hav- 
ing it stated ; hence it was deemed unnecessary to con- 
tinue this exception in the Discipline. Men who come 
up to be received into the ministry are required to pledge 
themselves to abstain from all intoxicating drinks as a 
beverage, and also from the use of tobacco. This last 
requirement was adopted at the General Conference of 

In the efforts to restrict the rum traffic our ministers 
have generally stood in the front ranks. We know one of 
our ministers who failed to take his stand on the right 
side, and a large portion of his members left the church 
and asked the bishop to allow them to form a temperance 
church, with a pastor in accord with their views. That 
minister showed contempt for the rebuke thus adminis- 
tered, but a curse seems upon him, and he has never 
prospered since. The temperance influence is so strong 
in the Church that the man who attempts to oppose it 
may expect to come to grief as this man did. It is not a 
thing of recent birth, but a sentiment as old as the Church 
itself, which has grown with the growth of the Church, 
so that we claim temperance is one of its cardinal prin- 

The committee to give expression to the sentiment of 
the Church on the subject of temperance is a standing 
committee in our Annual Conferences. In the New 


England Conference there is but one minister who uses 
tobacco in any form. In the days of slavery the Zion 
ministers were generally the leaders of the antislavery 
movement, and their pulpits were always open to the 
antislavery lecturer. If no other house could be ob- 
tained for an antislavery meeting it was known that the 
Zion Church could be had. The doors of that Church 
were never closed against one who wanted to plead for 
the oppressed. In fact, the leaders have always stood 
foremost in every movement tending to the advancement 
of the race. 

We have mentioned the fact that Zion was the first 
among the Methodist Episcopal Churches to grant to the 
laity representation in the Annual and General Confer- 
ences. We may add that this Church was the first in 
granting to woman that recognition to which she is enti- 
tled. In 1884 the word " male " was stricken from the 
Discipline, thus removing every restriction. Since then, 
in Zion Church, it is not a question of sex, but one of 
fitness, when any position in the Church is considered. 
Women are class leaders and superintendents of Sabbath 
schools ; they may be trustees if there is nothing in the 
civil law to prevent. They are exhorters and preachers ; 
and, notwithstanding this freedom, we have never had 
any considerable number of female preachers, and we 
have heard of but one female preacher who gave us any 
trouble, and that trouble was the result of a blunder, 
and she was a white woman, and we fully believe it was 
a righteous retribution. When you sow the wind you 
may expect to reap the whirlwind. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church is now agitated over 


the question of admitting women as delegates to the 
General Conference. That question did not require an 
hour's debate with us; it was settled when the word 
"male" was stricken from the Discipline. Possibly it 
may be asked, ' ' What are the chances of women getting 
seats in the General Conference?" In the first place, if 
she is president, secretary, or treasurer of any board 
elected by the General Conference, she is by virtue of 
said office a member of the General Conference and en- 
titled to all its privileges. Secondly, the lay delegates 
are chosen by an Electoral Conference made up of lay 
delegates attending the Annual Conference. The lay 
delegates to the District Conference are elected by the 
members of the circuits and stations. Since there are 
generally more females than males in our churches it 
would be an easy matter for them to send as delegates 
to the District Conferences representatives of their sex, 
and that body in turn could elect females to the Annual 
Conferences. Therefore at least in some cases it would 
not be difficult to elect a female. In fact, we believe in 
almost any case where there was a female present as a 
candidate, whose general fitness, combined with piety 
and intelligence, made her the best representative, she 
would be selected, and largely by the votes of the males. 
Our idea is that we should not be hindered from using 
such instrumentalities as God is pleased to raise up, on 
account of sex. This is the position of Zion Church on 
the woman question. That the colored ministers of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church have voted by a large ma- 
jority against the admission of women as delegates to 
the General Conference has been severely criticised. 


This is regarded as a display of ingratitude in considera- 
tion of the fact that the women of America were among 
the foremost advocates of liberty and the enfranchise- 
ment of the Negro. / But we would remark that the 
black minister must not be judged by those who remain 
in the Methodist Episcopal Church. The black man can 
never be seen at his best when he sits in the shadow of 
the white man. As the spreading oak dwarfs the grass 
beneath its shade, so does the superior number of white 
members in the white Church, with their ideas of their 
superiority, dwarf the black man who remains in that 
communion. To see the black man at his best he must 
be seen in his own institution, and managing his own 
affairs. White institutions as object lessons are an ad- 
vantage to him, and when the occasion arises he takes 
pattern of the best he can see. 

In Zion the black minister has shown the height to 
which he can rise respecting the rights of women when 
he is where there is nothing to hinder him from follow- 
ing his best convictions. In his own institution he 
makes his own sentiment, thinks for himself, and takes 
his own responsibility, keeping pace with the best 
thought of the age in which he lives. We are willing 
to be judged by the standard we set up for ourselves, 
but not that action which grows out of a standard made 
for us, or the result of secondhand opinion. 





First Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Con- 
nection, the Founder of the First African Methodist Epis- 
copal Church in America, the Originator of the Idea of 
a Negro Church, the First and Foremost of the Negro 
Race Leaders Who Have Appeared upon the Stage in 
Modern- Times* 

The subject of tins sketch was born in the State of New 

York, near Newburg, as nearly as we have been able 

to learn, about 1750. We have not been able to find 

certain information on this point, but from other known 

facts we think his birth could not have been either much 

earlier or much later than the date named; at least this, 

we think, is as near as we shall ever be able to get to the 

exact time of his birth. Bishop Moore, in his History y 


" Bishop James Varick was one of the nine male members who made the 
first movement toward the establishment of the Zion Church in 1796. . . . 
He was a man of great firmness, patience, perseverance, forethought, 
caution, and uprightness. Plain but orthodox in his preaching, his memory- 
is one of the revered relics of Zion Connection." 

In the Quadrennial Address of the bishops to the Gen- 
eral Conference in 1892 we find the following - : 

" The Afro-American Church is the one great developing and elevating 
agency, in comparison with which all others sink into insignificance. There 
is one name connected with this movement of which comparatively little 

* See Frontispiece. 


is now said, which coming generations will rescue from the obscurity in 
which we have permitted it to rest. Our children's children in their search 
for information respecting this movement which has done so much to de- 
velop the race will rind the name of James Varick, and will discover that 
to him is due the credit of starting a Church organization for the race. We 
know more of Father Rush, because our immediate predecessors were all 
acquainted with him and have told us more about him. We know still 
more about Clinton and Jones, and their praises hang upon our tongues. 
But we have only to read between the lines of the meager history which 
has come down to us to realize that the idea of a great Afro-American 
Church was conceived in the mind of James Varick, and that he, of all the 
men of his day, built most wisely. His skillful hand is seen in the 
Act of Incorporation, drawn up in 1801, which secured the independence 
of the Church, and yet, while it protected the Church property from the en- 
croachments of the white bishops, he managed to hold their friendship, or 
at least avoid their open hostility." 

Thus it will be seen that the bishops in 1 892 unitedly 
declared that James Varick was the real leader in the 
formation of Zion, the first African Methodist Episcopal 
Church in America. We call special attention to this 
fact here because there are so many who thoughtlessly 
speak of Rush as the founder and first bishop. As Joshua 
followed Moses, so did Rush follow Varick. Like Moses, 
Varick led his people about forty years, for he was a 
class leader and local preacher long before he formed 
them into a separate organization. He held meetings 
separate from the whites possibly as early as 1780. It is 
quite possible that his separate meetings were aimed at 
by that twenty-fifth item in the rules adopted by the 
Conference in 1780, as follows: 

" Question 25. Ought not the assistant to meet the colored people him- 
self, and appoint as helpers in his absence proper white persons, and not 
suffer them to stay late and meet by themselves ? 

"Answer. Yes." 

He led the separate organization through its formation 
period and continued its leader for more than thirty 


years. Like Astmry,* he presided at the Conferences 
before he received holy orders at the hands of men ; he 
was ordained of God to feed the flock of Christ, and did 
so long before human authority recognized him as a 
bishop. That he was well equipped for a leader is evi- 
dent from the several special characteristics which Bishop 
Moore attributes to him. And these are all seen in the 
splendid picture which forms the frontispiece of this book. 
"Firmness, patience, perseverance, forethought, caution, 
uprightness, and a phenomenal memory" are the charac- 
teristics ascribed to him by Bishop Moore. The man 
who has all these characteristics is a remarkably uncom- 
mon human being, and yet they are just the qualities 
needed for the ordeal through which the foremost reli- 
gious leader of the oppressed race in America had to pass. 
His forethought is conspicuous in that he wholly avoided 
the difficulty that later movements had to contend with 
respecting the title of Church property. 

Every account we have of Richard Allen's secession from 
the Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia informs 
us of a hard and long struggle and litigation over the 
Church property. From the best information attainable 
the struggle was about seven years long. Peter Spen- 
cer, in Wilmington, Del., had a seven years' struggle, 
and was finally obliged to give up his first church to the 
possession of the white bishop and build another. Long 
and disappointing experience taught him to do in the 
end what Varick's forethought enabled him to do at the 
beginning, twelve years earlier. The Church property 
of the organization led by Bishop Varick was all deeded 
* See statement respecting Asbury on page 59. 


to their own incorporation, the African Methodist Episco- 
pal Church, commonly called Zion. There was therefore 
neither litigation nor angry contention ; no, not even 
a question raised as to the absolute right of the congre- 
gations to dismiss the white preachers at pleasure. 

By Varick's forethought he had the assistance of Meth- 
odist Episcopal ministers as long as it was well for him 
to use them, and when he could no longer use them 
without creating discord in his own ranks he dismissed 
them without losing their friendship. His patience was 
seen in his long waiting on the bishops of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church for the realization of his hope, which 
they held out to him, that the petition of his people to 
grant him holy orders would be complied with. This 
was deferred from time to time for twenty years. A 
patience that holds out for twenty years may well be re- 
garded as a natural characteristic of its agent. Perhaps 
it may be said that he could do nothing else but wait. 
Peter Spencer did something else ; his congregation 
elected three laymen and called them elders, and they 
ordained Peter Spencer and called him elder minister. 
He then assumed all the functions of a bishop. 

Richard Allen did not wait, but got his ordination in 
some way (concerning which a statement is given in 
another place). James Varick waited, and because of this 
other organizations much later formed claimed priority 
because they in some way (however questionable) ob- 
tained ordination earlier than he. This claim is set up 
in face of the fact that the organization of Zion Church 
as an independent body was as complete in the eye of the 
civil law in 1801 as it or any other Church is to-day. 


This was fifteen years before Richard Allen came out 
from the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Varick's long and patient waiting was finally rewarded 
by his receiving ordination from the hands of Methodist 
ministers, whose right to ordain has not and cannot be 
questioned by any who admit that three presbyters can 
perform the ceremony of ordination. So much for his 
patience. Firmness was another of his peculiar charac- 
teristics. This is so closely allied to patience that lie 
who enjoys the one is seldom destitute of the other. To 
his firmness Zion Connection is indebted for its existence 
as an independent body to-day. As we have seen, he 
had waited for nearly twenty years for ordination at the 
hands of the white bishops. Near the end of this period 
Richard Allen visited New York, claiming to be a bishop. 
We have no doubt but that Varick had been informed 
how Allen was made bishop; nevertheless Allen's offer 
to ordain him if he (Varick) would unite with his (Allen's) 
organization was tempting to a man who had been seek- 
ing ordination for twenty years. Who of us to-day 
would have stood firm under such circumstances? None 
but those whose firmness is characteristic. William Mil- 
ler and some others yielded and went with Allen ; yes, 
and afterward became dissatisfied and returned to Zion. 
Varick stood firm, and because he stood the connection 
stands to-day a monument to his fixed and steady pur- 
pose of mind. His purpose was to have ordination at 
the hands of men of whose authority there could be no 
question. He stood firm to the end, faithful amid the 

Another peculiar characteristic ascribed to him is per- 


severance. What we have already said renders his per- 
severance conspicuous. He had a purpose from which 
nothing could turn him aside ; his eye of faith rested 
upon a prize, and he persevered until the jewel of holy 
orders rested upon him from the hands of ministers 
whose authority had come down as regular as history 
could make it. His caution was also marked. It takes a 
very cautious man to hold men through a long course of 
years to the interest of his purpose when they at the 
same time have even a different purpose, to say nothing 
of an opposite purpose. He started out to establish an 
independent Church. The bishops and ministers of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church were opposed to it, and de- 
termined, if possible, to get him and his organization 
back into the Methodist Episcopal Church. He deter- 
mined to maintain his own organization. He quietly 
had his way, and yet he held the bishops and ministers to 
his interest, so that one or more of them assisted him in 
every move he made. Even after his people had deter- 
mined to hold a Conference he had the assistance of 
some of the most distinguished men in the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. Rev. Joshua Soule, who afterward 
became bishop, acted as secretary of the first Annual 

Varick was marked for his uprightness. Through all 
the trying years of his leadership nothing is recorded 
of him, or known by those who still remember him, to 
his discredit. There is a lady still living in New York 
who remembers him as a man who was greatly respected 
by all who knew him. He had a wonderful memory, 

and was a successful student of men. In fact, he united 


in himself all the qualifications of a great organizer. 
He left to his successors a Church organization fully quali- 
fied for the great work of uplifting the race and of saving 
souls. He died shortly before the sitting of the General 
Conference of 1828. 


Bishop Rush was born in Craven County, N. C, in 
1777 (the same year that slavery was abolished in the 
State of Vermont). His parents were of slave descent; 
he was of genuine African type. He embraced religion 
in 1793, at the age of sixteen years. He came to New 
York in 1798, five years after he embraced religion, being 
then twenty-one years of age ; in 1 803 he joined the Af- 
rican Methodist Episcopal Church (afterward known as 
the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church) ; in 18 15 
he was licensed to preach, and in 1822 he was ordained 
a deacon and elder on the same day in the first Annual 
Conference. On May 18, 1828, in General Conference, 
he was elected General Superintendent or Bishop of the 
connection. In this office he served twenty-four years. 
His discontinuance in the office some years before his 
decease was in consequence of the loss of his sight, which 
was not only grievous to him, but also to the Zion Con- 
nection ; it was an irreparable loss. 

His personal constitution : physically he was of low 
stature, of prominent muscular development, a bilious 
temperament, and a healthy constitution ; he was capable 
of great physical endurance. His intellectual faculties 
were deep-seated, strong, and vigorous; as a reasoner 
he was clear and cogent ; as a contestant he was in- 


superable ; as a theologian he was profound. His fund 
of knowledge was vast and varied ; his mental ability 
and general knowledge were so ample that he was ever 
prepared to hold sway with public criticism on all popular 


and great questions of the day. Although he was debarred 
by the prejudice of caste from collegiate training, yet by 
his extraordinary work of self-culture his scholarly at- 
tainments astonished all that came in contact with him. 


His manners: he was reserved in manners, stern in 
address, but agreeable and entertaining in his conversa- 
tion, always instructive. He was an uncompromising 
foe to slavery, to intemperance, to American Negro pro- 
scription, to episcopal dominancy, and to ecclesiastical 
oligarchy ; equally uncompromising to human pride, os- 
tentation, and vanity. 

His common personal demeanor : in his deportment he 
was plain, unassuming, and uninsinuating ; he was homely 
in his attire, common in his diet, and easy to serve. It 
was a studied habit with him to give as little trouble as 
possible to his attendants, either at home or abroad ; this 
was a style of deportment he vigorously inculcated 
among all the young ministers, with many other highly 
important lessons. 

His ministerial bearing: his deportment as a clergy- 
man was always grave and dignified in all circles of soci- 
ety. In the pulpit he was always very earnest, indicative 
of his consciousness of the responsibility of the work laid 
upon him. He was very observant of the conduct of his 
young ministers, and always had a word of good advice to 
give them in relation to their studies or on their minis- 
terial deportment. He was ever willing to share in the 
hardships of his ministers, and took common fare in life 
with them. 

His style as a preacher: as a preacher his style was 
commanding; his voice was full, clear, and musical; he 
was profound in thought, earnest and pungent, and 
sometimes vehement. He maintained at all times great 
self-possession in the pulpit, never aimed at embellish- 
ment in his discourses, but impressed his subjects upon 


attentive hearers, edifying - the religious and awakening 
the unconverted. 

His ministerial work : he entered the itinerancy early 
in his ministerial career, and as a traveling preacher was 
very constant, zealous, and successful in his evangelical 
labors ; he had to suffer hardships and privations, which 
were the lot of all colored ministers in his day. But his 
love for Christ and the salvation of souls, his interest in 
the Church and the well-being of his race, prompted him 
to endure hardship as a good soldier. He was possessed 
of extraordinary legislative ability, was farsighted in 
scanning the doubtful results of ecclesiastical measures, 
and his opinion generally controlled Church legislation. 
He was most conclusive in his deductions on all questions 
submitted to his judgment, and was peculiarly cautious 
in making any new departure in the economy of the 
Church government. After being elected to the office of 
bishop he filled the position with great ability and to 
the full satisfaction of all his subordinates, whether min- 
isterial or lay. During the entire period of episcopal office 
he conducted the executive affairs with the highest de- 
gree of efficiency, and when deprived of his sight, being 
disqualified for executive duties, his counsel was eagerly 
sought by his successors in office and the Church gener- 
ally"; and, although thus afflicted, he would attend the 
Annual and General Conferences that he might take 
part in their legislation on vital subjects. This he con- 
tinued to do until he became too feeble to visit the Con- 
ferences. He was finally confined to his room for several 
years before his demise, and died in the full triumphs 
of faith. 



Bishop Clinton was born October 3, 1823, in Phil- 
adelphia, Pa. He studied the common branches of 
English education in the famous Mr. Bird's school at 
Philadelphia, thence went to the Allegheny Institute. 
He embraced religion when fifteen years of age, and was 
licensed as a local preacher when seventeen. In 1843 
he joined the itinerancy and became a traveling preacher; 
in 1845 was ordained a deacon and in 1846 an elder; was 
elected to the episcopal office in 1856. He had a high and 
holy ambition to make himself qualified to do good among 
his fellow-men ; when he was a youth he would sacrifice 
comforts and pleasures to pursue his studies successfully. 
His sympathetic nature was strongly developed ; sanctified 
as it was by the spirit of Christianity, he was always 
willing to share the sufferings of others. He was faith- 
fully devoted to the cause he espoused, and no service 
was too hard, no sacrifice too great, for that cause. His 
attainments were of no ordinary character ; his knowledge 
of human nature, the importance of his holy calling, his 
social relations — filial, conjugal, parental — these had 
their true development in his whole life's deportment. 
He rendered to all classes their just dues, from the high- 
est to the lowest. All good institutions had his favor 
and cooperation. Through his instrumentality one hun- 
dred thousand Sunday school scholars were brought into 
our connection ; during his episcopal office he organized 
ten Annual Conferences, and also took into the connec- 
tion seven hundred itinerant preachers. As an executive 
officer he had no superior ; for twenty-five years he filled 



the office with complete success and satisfaction to his 
Church. In the pulpit he was a prince in power, dignity, 
and effectiveness. There was in his oratory the happiest 
result of nature and art combined ; his eloquence would 
sometimes seem to be charged with divine electricity, 


stirring the most stoical. The topical was generally his 
method of homiletical arrangement ; in his discourses he 
was concise, perspicuous, forcible, and masterly. In his 
last conversation with loved ones, who gathered round 
his bedside, he said, "All is well, I am ready for, the 
glorious change." He fell asleep May 24, 1881, at At- 
lantic City, N. J., after a protracted illness. 




Bishop Moore was born about 1 804 in Berkeley County, 
Va. He was therefore about eighty-nine years old at the 
time of his death. He was born free, but his mother 
was kidnapped and carried into slavery, from which she 
finally escaped with two of her children, including John. 


who was bound out to a farmer in Bedford County, Pa. 
He was taught to read and write, and acquired a knowl- 
edge of farming, for which he showed a fondness long after 
his strength to perform it forsook him. The man to whom 
he was bound robbed him of two years or more, and would 
have continued the robbery but for a friendly Quaker, 
who informed him that his time was out, and advised him 


to leave, and agreed to stand by him if the man claimed 
longer time. The fact that the man made no effort to get 
him back was regarded by him as evidence that the infor- 
mation he had received was correct. In Bishop Moore's 
History of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church his 
birth is put in the year 18 18. That is evidently a mis- 
print or mistake, for according to the statement which 
follows he could not have been much less than twenty-five 
when he visited Harrisburg, Pa., about the year 1830. If 
it is a fact, as he believed, that he was robbed of two years' 
time, he was twenty-three when he left the man to whom 
he was bound. Then he worked six months for another 
man, to pay a debt contracted during his bondage. After- 
ward he worked for himself until he had saved $15, before 
he went to Harrisburg. As wages were low and clothing 
comparatively high in those days it took a young man 
some time to fix himself up and save money enough to 
start off to the city with, the city being more than a 
hundred miles away. From what the bishop says of his 
occupation there it must have been at least three or four 
years before his return to Bedford in 1833. He could not 
then have been less than twenty-eight or nine, whereas 
if born in 18 18 he would only have been fifteen years 
old. It is therefore evident that 18 18 is a mistake by 
at least from twelve to fifteen years. Supposing that 
he was twenty-five when he went to Harrisburg and that 
he remained there four years before returning to Bedford 
in 1833, that would make him twenty-nine years old, and 
would make the year of his birth 1804. This accords 
with other facts. He and Rev. David Stevens were 
young men together, and it was always understood that 


Stevens was five years older than Moore. This was 
understood at a period when there was not much difficulty 
in fixing upon his age as nearly as it could be known. 
Stevens died in 1882, at about eighty-three years of age. 
Hence he must have been born in 1799. ^ Bishop Moore 
was five years younger he must have been born in 1804. 

Walter Booth died in 1891, in his seventy-seventh year. 
He used to say that Bishop Moore was a man grown and 
preaching when he was a little boy. He supposed that 
there was at least fifteen years' difference in their ages. 
Let us suppose that he was mistaken by five years, and 
that there was not more than ten years' difference. Booth 
was born in 18 14; this again would put Bishop Moore's 
birth in the year 1804. We think this is as near as we 
are likely to get to his exact age. The bishop himself, 
when we last talked to him on the subject, was inclined to 
accept our figures as about correct. It was then that he 
told us of the two years of which he was robbed by the 
man to whom he was bound for service. 

The bishop embraced religion while in Harrisburg, 
Pa., in 1833, and was soon after impressed with his call 
to the ministry ; was licensed to exhort in the same 
city in 1834, and to preach about a year later. He felt 
his lack of the education necessary for the ministerial 
work, with the importance of which he was deeply im- 
pressed. During his minority he had only received in- 
struction for a few weeks each year from the time he 
was bound to service. 

In 1836 he employed private teachers and took lessons 
in the English branches, and also in Latin, Greek, and 
Hebrew, and thus acquired sufficient knowledge in all of 


these languages to enable him to pursue his calling so 
well that he soon became one of the most noted black 
preachers of his day. He was soon designated as the 
''silver-tongued orator." He was also noted for extraor- 
dinary penmanship. He united with the Philadelphia 
Conference, as an itinerant preacher, in 1839, an ^- con- 
tinued a member of that Conference until he was made 
bishop in 1868. 

He sailed for California in 1852, where he succeeded 
in planting the standard of Zion. He established 
churches at San Francisco, San Jose, and Napa. The 
one at San Francisco is the largest colored church on 
the Pacific coast; the one at San Jose is also a flour- 
ishing church ; the one at Napa has ceased an active 
existence because the colored people have forsaken the 
place. He came East in 1868, and was set apart to the 
episcopal office. During his episcopate he had charge 
of California, Canada and Michigan, Florida, Arkansas, 
New York, New England, Philadelphia and Baltimore, 
Virginia, West Tennessee and Mississippi, Georgia, and 
all the Carolina Conferences. He was not a great or- 
ganizer ; he had not the peculiar ability to marshal forces 
for success, but he was truly a great preacher. He was 
regarded as the greatest black preacher on the Pacific 
coast, and some spoke of him as the greatest preacher, 
regardless of color. His eloquence was enrapturing, and 
his imaginative and descriptive powers were marvelous. 

On his way across the ocean to England he preached 
for the passengers, who were so pleased that they raised 
for him $150, and he was a wonder to the people on 
the other side of the ocean. He was decidedly conscien- 


tious, and would not suffer malice to rankle in his bosom. 
If he thought one had treated him wrongfully he sought 
an early opportunity to speak of it, and a very little 
apology satisfied him if he believed it sincere. He had 
an excellent Christian character and an untarnished moral 
reputation. We could not agree with him in all his 
theological notions, but he was broad and liberal, and 
thought he had scriptural support for every idea ad- 
vanced. He loved his Church, and was willing to make 
great sacrifices for its advancement. He had an ambition 
to travel as much and do as much as any other bishop, 
notwithstanding his great age. He had great love for 
his race, and gloried in its every honorable achievement. 
He fell at his post. 


Among the distinguished men developed by the Church 
Bishop Singleton Thomas Webster Jones holds the first 
rank. He was what is called a self-made man. His 
early advantages were poor. When he entered the min- 
istry he had scarcely the rudiments of an English educa- 
tion, but he was sensible of the importance and re- 
sponsibilities of his calling, and he went to work to 
prepare himself ; and it is wonderful how much he ac- 
complished on that line. He so acquainted himself with 
the English language that he could select the most choice 
and fitting words to express his ideas, and could form most 
beautiful and expressive sentences. He was a fine and 
logical reasoner, and as a theologian he was entirely safe. 
He was original without being wild. He kept to the old 
beaten path of Methodism, but he was constantly bring- 


ing to view new beauties along that old path. We never 
knew him to make a theological utterance which seemed 
to us unsound. He had the title of Doctor of Divinity, 
but he was that and more, he was Doctor of Laws as 
well. In debate he was hard to equal ; he would find 
the weak places in the position of his antagonist and 
then show them up with terrible effect. He was an ex- 
traordinary organist. He seemed to throw his whole 
soul into the organ, which responded to his touch and 
gave forth the sweetest notes. He possessed a most 
lively faith ; as to his spiritual state, he never seemed to 
have a doubt. Future and eternal happiness with him 
was a foregone conclusion. His pastoral work covered 
a period of nineteen years, and he was always successful. 
We have heard him say that one of his best appoint- 
ments was one to which he went with very great reluc- 
tance ; he believed that his appointment was the result 
of unfriendly feelings on the part of the bishop, but 
it proved not only a blessing to the Church, but resulted 
in his securing the home which he left to his family. 
His last pastoral charge was the mother Church, Old 
Zion, in New York. Rev. A. Walters, who took 
charge just twenty years later, was the first to surpass 
Bishop Jones's record in the number of converts in one 

Bishop Jones was born March 8, 1825, in Wrightsville, 
Pa. He embraced religion in Harrisburg, in February, 
1842, was licensed to preach in 1846, joined the Annual 
Conference in 1849, received elders' orders in 185 1, was 
elected bishop May 19, 1868, and was consecrated May 31. 
He departed this life on Saturday, April 18, 1891. His 


funeral was attended by all the surviving bishops of his 
own connection, two of the bishops of the African 
Methodist Episcopal Church, and more than fifty min- 
isters. He was the fifth of our bishops who died in active 
service. His arrangements for the Conference which 
was held soon after his death were carried out as nearly 
as they could well have been if he had lived. The two 
things which engaged his thoughts most during his last 
days were his family and his Church. For these he 
had given his life, and death alone gave him rest from 
the care he had assumed. 


We find that Bishop Moore, in his History, passes 
Bishop J. W. Loguen in silence. Among the men of his 
day there were few more distinguished than he. A 
fugitive from bondage himself, he made it his business 
to aid others in making their escape from that hell on 
earth. It is doubtful if any one man did more than 
Bishop Loguen in aiding those who were in search of 
liberty ; hence he was called the ' ' Underground Rail- 
road King." He was an intimate friend of Fred Doug- 
lass ; Douglass's son married his daughter, and they both 
had- considerable means and vied with each other in giv- 
ing the young people a start in life. 

Bishop Loguen was not a great preacher ; he was more 
suited to the platform as a public lecturer, especially on 
the subject of slavery. As such he was scarcely less 
popular than Douglass himself. It was this, and not his 
ability as a preacher, that brought him to the frOnt in 
the Church. He was elected bishop in 1864, but discov- 


ering that he was likely to be sent to Southern work, and 
thinking it too early for a fugitive to return to that land, 
he resigned. 

In 1868 he was brought forward again. He met 
some opposition because he had resigned when first 
elected. They could easily have beaten him but for the 
fact that they had determined to have six bishops (two 
more than were needed). The rule then was to send 
out a nominating committee, who arranged to get the 
man they wanted elected by putting up a man against 
him whom nobody expected would get elected, but upon 
whom the opposition could throw away their votes. 
Sometimes, however, they would run in what is known 
in politics as a dark horse. The attempt was made to 
beat two of the regular nominees at this General Confer- 
ence in that way. Hence it will be seen by the Minutes 
that notwithstanding J. P. Thompson, who was nomi- 
nated against Loguen, refused to run, yet another brother, 
who was not on the ticket presented by the nominating 
committee, received thirty-one votes, and there were four 
scattering votes, which left Loguen forty-one, only six 
majority. He was appointed to the Fifth District, includ- 
ing the Allegheny and Kentucky Conferences and adja- 
cent mission fields. At the end of two years he was to 
change with Bishop Jones and go to the Second District, 
including the Genesee and the Philadelphia and Balti- 
more Conferences. He thus had four years of very 
pleasant work. But in 1872 he was appointed to the 
oversight of mission work on the Pacific coast, which ap- 
pointment he did not long survive. We do not think he 
reached his field of labor. 



Bishop Moore, in his History, gives us only a good pic- 
ture of Bishop J. D. Brooks. He was elected in 1864. 
He was a man of great natural ability ; was a good plain 
speaker, and could, under some circumstances, rise to 
wonderful force in presenting truth. As a pastor he was 
too rigid and dogmatic for great success in building up 
the church. He thought it better to have twenty mem- 
bers who were according to his notion than a church 
full who were not. For his members to appear at the 
sacrament with earrings or finger-rings or ruffles or 
flowers was sufficient provocation for him to pass them 
by. He did not need much more to induce him to turn 
members out of church. If members talked about his 
rigid course it was an easy matter to get some one who 
agreed with him to bring charges against them for sow- 
ing discord, and members thus unreasonably brought up 
are quite likely to be stubborn, and their stubbornness 
would seem to justify him in excluding them. The 
establishment of the St. Paul's African Methodist Epis- 
copal Church in Washington City was the result of a split 
in Wesley Zion Church during his administration ; it 
commenced by his passing a few prominent members at 
the sacrament. The feeling produced lasted for many 
years ; thirty years have passed, but we are not sure that 
all the wounds are yet healed. Those who held with him 
would almost have suffered martyrdom in his defense, 
for they believed him to be an extraordinarily good man. 
He had a strong moral character, and was regarded as 
a very devout Christian. Those who held to him be- 


lieved that he was hated because he was strict and good. 
We thought he was one of the best men we ever met. 
He got up in the pulpit once after we had preached to a 
packed house and publicly rebuked us for not saying 
more on a single point in our subject. He had no com- 
plaint to make of what we had said, but claimed that we 
left the subject too quickly. We had said something 
about pride, but did not dwell on the subject long. He 
thought that we should at that point have given the peo- 
ple a general tongue-lashing about fine dress, etc. He 
said the Spirit was driving us in that direction, but we, 
like a miserable coward, had dodged. Our reverence 
for him was so great that we' received his rebuke with 
the meekness of a child. We have no reason to-day to 
change our opinion respecting his honesty of purpose or 
sincerity of intention ; but a man of less practicabilit)^ 
could hardly have been found. He had none of that 
notion announced by Paul when he said, " I become all 
things to all men; that I may by all means gain some." 
This, it seems to us, is a common-sense view; do the 
good you can in whatever way you can. 

It is a great deal easier to let down the fence at another 
place and drive out a hog than it is to make him go out 
through the hole under the fence at which he went in. But 
there are men who would try to make the hog go out at that 
hole if they lost three or four hours in the attempt. We 
have known quite a number of good men who, like Bishop 
Brooks, failed for the want of that sagacity which enables 
a man to see that it is best to do what you can or make 
the most of your situation. . Lead men to see as you see, 

if you can, but do not attempt to drive them. Bishop 


Brooks failed as a bishop for the same reasons that he 
had failed as a pastor, and has left us the admonition 
that if a man is a failure as a pastor it is unwise to make' 
him a bishop. After his first four years' service there 
was an attempt to drive him from the field by compelling 
him to resign. He was appointed to the mission field 
on the Pacific coast. He tendered his resignation, but 
finally withdrew it with the understanding that he was 
to remain inactive during the period of that appointment. 
In 1872 he was retired and made chairman of the Book 
Concern. He died in a good old age. 


We have mentioned Bishop W. H. Bishop in connec- 
tion with the split, but think a more extended notice is 
due to his memory. He was truly a great man in many 
respects: he was v/ell equipped as a leader; he had a 
fine, commanding figure; he stood at least six feet high 
and was well proportioned ; he was a splendid specimen 
of the full-blooded Negro ; he had a melodious voice and 
pleasant face ; he was a natural, easy, and fluent speaker, 
frequently carrying his congregation up to a degree of 
rapture which would cause them to break out in shouts of 
praise. Notwithstanding the stormy time in which he 
served the Church, it is doubtful if any man was more 
loved by his people than he. He was retired at his own 
request in 1868. 


Another of the very distinguished men of our Church 
was Bishop S. D. Talbot. He was elected bishop in 
1864. Bishop Talbot was regarded as one of the best 


men as well as one of the best preachers of his day. 
During- his pastorate he had charge of the most important 
churches in the connection, including New York and 
Boston ; and the man who was a success in either of those 
churches was considered a strong man. Bishop Talbot 
was always a success as a pastor, and was equally so as a 
bishop. He had charge of the First District, including 
the New York, New England, and Genesee Conferences, 
for two years, and then went to the Fourth District, in- 
cluding- the Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana Confer- 
ences. After fourteen years' service he died at his home 
in Georgia. He will Ions: be remembered in that section 
as one of the pioneer bishops. Respected by all classes, 
and considering that he lived in the hottest region during 
the hottest period of the reconstruction, and he a North- 
ern man, this speaks volumes for his sagacity and Chris- 
tian bearing. 


Bishop Hood was born in Kennett Township, Chester 
County, Pa. , May 30, 1 83 1 . He was early impressed with 
his accountability — as early, he thinks, as his fourth year. 
At about eleven he experienced a change, but such was 
the extravagance in the professions of many around him 
that he struggled amid doubts and fears for seven years 
before he was satisfied that it was well with his soul. His 
own sister, Charlotte, was the means finally of leading 1 
him to see that faith was all that a penitent sinner needed. 

At about his twenty-first year he was impressed with 
his call to the ministry ; he mentioned the matter to a 
preacher, whom he supposed would present it to the 

1 86 


Quarterly Conference. He there let it rest, and tried 
to feel that his own responsibility was at an end. In 
this he was entirely successful so long as he remained 
within the jurisdiction of the Quarterly Conference to 
which that preacher belonged. But when he moved to 
New York and united with the church there he felt that 

the responsibility 
rested again upon 
himself. After 
some further delay 
he finally peti- 
tioned for license 
to preach, which 
was granted in the 
latter part of 1856. 
The following year 
he moved to New 
Haven, where he 
was received into 
the Quarterly Con- 
ference of the Af- 
rican Methodist 
Episcopal Zion 
Church. In June, 1858, the pulpit of that church became 
vacant by reason of the failure of the minister appointed 
to appear. He had heard that the church did not want 
him, and thought he would let the people see that he could 
get along without them. In this state of affairs the bishop 
took up the subject of this sketch in the interval of the 
Annual Conference and put him in charge of the church. 
At the close of that Conference year he was received into 



the New England Annual Conference on trial and ap- 
pointed as a missionary to Nova Scotia. As there were 
no funds on hand to send him out he returned to New 
York and went to work in a hotel for thirteen months, at 
the end of which time he had saved enough to provide for 
his family and to take him to his field of labor. He was 
ordained a deacon in Boston, Mass., the first Sunday in 
September, i860, and sailed for Halifax the following 
Wednesday. At the end of one year he sent for his- 
family. In 1862 he met the Conference in Hartford, 
Conn., and was ordained elder. At the end of three 
years he brought his family with him to meet the Con- 
ference at Boston. His success had not been great; he 
had, however, succeeded in supporting his family in a 
strange land without aid from the Mission Board, except 
six dollars toward getting his wife out of Washington 
(at the time of the battle of Bull Run) on her way to 
New Bedford, Mass. 

He organized one church composed of eleven mem- 
bers in a settlement of Hard-shell Baptists. When he 
first reached that settlement, after walking forty-five 
miles through a strange country, he went to every house 
in the settlement before he got a stopping place. They 
told him there were no Methodists there and that they 
did not want any. But the only hope that he had of 
staying in that country was to plant a church there, and 
he succeeded. The place was called Englewood, about 
a mile from Bridgeton. He traveled and preached at 
• private houses and at white churches ; but this small 
congregation was all that he had to depend upon among 
his own people. 


On his return to the States in 1863 he was stationed at 
Bridgeport, Conn. After six months' service in that 
charge he was sent as a missionary to North Carolina. 
He had charge three years at New Berne, two at Fay- 
etteville, and three and a half at Charlotte. In 1872 he 
was set apart to the episcopal office. He was a delegate 
to the Ecumenical Conference in London in 1881, also in 
Washington City, 1891, and was the first colored man 
who presided over that body. He is the author of a 
book of sermons, which has been adopted by the Gen- 
eral Conference as a standard work. 


''Joseph P. Thompson has resided in this city for many 
years. The highest honors of his Church have been con- 
ferred upon him, and in his official capacity he has exerted 
a wonderful influence with his people and done much to 
elevate their moral and social condition. 

' ' Bishop Thompson was born in slavery at Winchester, 
Va., December 20, 18 18. He ran away from his master 
while yet a youth, and found a home with a kind-hearted 
man in Pennsylvania. He was brought up in a good fam- 
ily, under moral and religious influences, and encouraged 
to improve all the advantages that could be afforded him 
for his future welfare. He was sent to night school and 
permitted to attend the district school during the winter 
months, and thus acquired a common school education. 
He was naturally studious, loved books, and early deter- 
mined to qualify himself for some useful vocation in life. 
Though his opportunities were limited, he was ambitious, 
and resolved to enter a profession or calling where he 


could help his less favored people. It so happened that 
he had the opportunity to study medicine with a physician 
residing at Middletown Point, now Matteawan, N. J., a 
study which he has continued through life.- But serious 
thoughts of preferring holy orders to any other profession 


gave a happy turn to his mind, and he decided in favor 
of the ministry. He read theology under the direction 
of the late Rev. Dr. Mills, of Auburn — a privilege which 
he has often mentioned to his friends with an indelible 


sentiment of gratitude. He was licensed to preach in 
1839, an d attracted much attention and drew large crowds 
to hear him. His sermons were delivered with animation 
and zeal 

"In 1853 he was sent by his Church to Halifax, Nova 
Scotia, where he preached with acceptance, and found 
great demand for his medical skill. In this he was so 
successful that he concluded to return to the States and 
take a regular course in a medical college. He succeeded 
in this resolve and graduated from the University of 
Medicine in the city of Philadelphia with the degree of 
Doctor of Medicine, his diploma bearing date April 1, 
1858. Since then he has devoted his life to the service of 
his Church and people, equally competent to preach 
the Gospel and administer to the sick and dying. 

' ' By precept and example he has taught and encouraged 
his people, and been to them a benefactor and faithful 
friend. He has served almost all the churches in the 
Zion Connection along the Hudson, and was three times 
pastor of the Zion Church in this city. His faithful and 
efficient services have not been unrewarded ; and in July, 
1876, he was consecrated to the bishopric of the African 
Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in the city of Louisville, 
Ky. This distinguished mark of confidence and esteem 
on the part of his denomination at once commended him 
to the attention and respect of all other sects and 
creeds, and he has become one of the most popular and 
honored men in the ministry. Officials at Washington 
have frequently conferred with him on public measures, 
especially on affairs in the South. In 188 1 he was invited 
to England, and by special request read a paper before 


the Ecumenical Conference of Methodist Churches con- 
vened in London from all parts of the world. 

' ' During the last fifteen years he has been engaged in 
his duties as a bishop, a position of great importance and 
responsibility. Mrs. Thompson,* the partner of his 
youth, is still spared to him. She is a most estimable 
woman, deeply interested in her husband's lifework, and 
for many years past the treasurer of the missionary funds 
of their Church. They have one daughter, the wife of 
Professor D. B. Alsdorf, residing in this city." — Copied 
from " Newburg, Her Institutions and Leading Citizens." 


Bishop of the Fifth Episcopal District of the African Meth- 
odist Episcopal Zion Church. 

Bishop Lomax was born 1836, in Cumberland County, 
N. C. He is the son of Enoch Lomax and grandson of 
William Lomax, who came to America with General 
La Fayette from the French Colony in Africa. William 
Lomax joined the Revolutionary War under General 
George Washington and General La Fayette, fighting 
faithfully to the close of the war to secure the liberty of 
America. He was a pensioner until the day of his death. 
He died in full triumph of gospel faith as a Methodist at 
the ripe age of one hundred and five years. He was 
honored with a military burial by the remnant of his 

Enoch Lomax, the father of our subject, was united in 
marriage to Rachel Hammonds, the daughter of Isaac 
and Dicy Hammonds, and was of Indian descent. 

* Deceased since the above was written. 



Thomas Henry Lomax, the seventh son of Enoch and 
Rachel Lomax, joined, the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South, in the )~ear 1848, under Dr. Pritchard. He was 
converted in 1849, in the town of Fayetteville, N. C, and 
was made a class leader in 1850. He, with the assist - 


ance of others, erected the first brick church in the 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Connection in the 
South, at Fayetteville, N. C, named Evans Chapel. 

He was licensed to preach in 1867 by Bishop J. W. 
Hood ; was ordained a deacon by Bishop J.J. Clinton and 


an elder by Bishop J. J. Moore. He was sent to the 
Whitesville mission field, where he built a ehurch ; he 
organized and built churches at Flemington, Swamp, and 
Christian Plains; reorganized at Shady Grove, Brown's 
Chapel, and Goose Creek. He took charge as presiding 
elder of all the churches in the following counties : New 
Hanover, Brunswick, Bladen, Columbus, Sampson, and 
Duplin during the fight of Price and Lavender against 
the connection ; and in the same year organized five 
churches in Marlboro District, S. C. The next year he 
reorganized at Laurinburg, and was appointed elder in 
charge of the church in Charlotte, N. C, where he 
served three years. During his first two years as 
pastor he added seven hundred members to the church 
and organized Little Rock Church. He was elected to 
the bishopric by the General Conference at Louisville, 
Ky., in 1876, and was appointed to a missionary field 
in Canada, Ont., where he organized the Michigan and 
Canada Conference. He ordained twenty-nine elders 
and deacons at this Conference, brought in twenty-eight 
churches valued at $15,000, and had the Conference 
chartered in the name of the Queen of England. He 
organized the Texas Conference, in which he ordained 
eighteen elders and deacons and brought into the con- 
nection $18,000 worth of property. He was appointed 
to the Seventh Episcopal District, embracing West Ala- 
bama, Louisiana, and California Conference. He was 
next appointed to what was then known as the Fifth 
Episcopal District, in which he labored three years with 
his usual success. During this period he organized the 
Missouri and South Georgia Conferences. He was ap- 


pointed to the South Carolina District, where he ordained 
fifty elders and deacons. 

His next appointment was to what is now known as 
the Fifth Episcopal District, where he organized the fol- 
lowing Conferences : South Florida, East Tennessee, 
Virginia, and North Carolina. On this district ninety- 
six new churches have been built in the last three years. 

Through his instrumentality and influence the African 
Methodist Episcopal Zion Publication House was secured 
at Charlotte, N. C, in which the Star of Zion, African 
Methodist Episcopal Zion Quarterly, and all our Sabbath 
school literature will be published. This building is to 
be called the Varick Memorial Building, and bids fair 
to become a center of attraction. 

Bishop Lomax has always been careful to provide for 
the best interests of his ministers, from the highest to 
the lowest, as well as for the churches. 

He is a self-educated man, comparatively speaking. 
When quite a youth he employed himself in grubbing 
stumps at night to procure funds for his night schooling ; 
in this way he learned to write, read, and cipher before 
the war. From that time until now he has been a hard 
student. JuSt after the war he taught a flourishing 
school at Whitesville, N. C, and other places, and has 
always been interested in educational work. As an evi- 
dence of this fact we point with pride to the erection of 
the Greenville High School, located at Greenville, Tenn. ; 
also to the prospective erection of the Lomax and Hannon 
High School at Greenville, Ala. It will be remembered 
that he was one of the committee who selected the site 
upon which Livingstone College stands, paying the first 


ten dollars on college certificates. He also assisted in 
laying the first brick in the foundation of the first dormi- 
tory erected on the college grounds, and is now one of 
the trustees of that institution. He has planned with 
others to erect a high school at Bartow, Fla., having 
agreed to donate the land in connection with Rev. W. C. 
Vesta and Thomas H. Darley. Thus he has shown him- 
self a friend and advocate of education. 

Bishop Lomax's sermons are original, profound, and 
inspiring, his style of preaching singular and impressive. 
He received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Liv- 
ingstone College, and wears it with honor. 


Charles Calvin Pettey, son of Jordan and Fannie Pet- 
tey, was born December 3, 1849, on the banks of the 
North Yadkin River, about four miles east of Wilkes- 
boro, the county seat of Wilkes County, N. C. This 
valley is very rich in sandy loam, and leaving the river 
the rolling hills and rocky ridges abound in minerals. 
From the door of their two-roomed log cabin could be 
seen variegated nature ; and looking northward the eye 
beholds many brooks and streamlets, the. waters of which 
appear to be as transparent as crystal, roaring, spark- 
ling, and foaming as they rush down the mountain side, 
sinuous in their course through hills and rocks in great 
haste to unite with the foamy spray of the Yadkin, along 
whose banks can be seen huge rocks lifting their precip- 
itous heads from fifty to one hundred feet above the sur- 
rounding landscape, careening as if peeping down upon 
the golden-finned and silver-sided fish that are accus- 



tomed to throng the shoals on a beautiful springlike day. 
Just beyond and all around, if in midsummer, our eyes 
behold meadows green and waving fields of wheat cover- 
ing the great plains that stretch away toward the moun- 


tains on either side, with here and there a huge bowlder 
that appears to have fallen from Nature's dump cart dur- 
ing that dreary epoch when icebergs in a sweeping ava- 
lanche carried them from the top of the Blue Ridge tc 


the shores of the Atlantic, dropping them here and there 
in confused heaps. Then come the rolling hills with 
their verdure green, which rise higher and higher until 
their lofty buttes .seem to kiss the vaulted blue. In sum- 
mer they appear to be thunderheads ; but when chilly 
Winter cools the earth with his icy breath and shrouds 
these buttes in snowy white the landscape can be better 
imagined than described or mocked by an artist. Farm- 
ing in this section is the leading industry. Such were 
the surroundings of the birthplace of Charles Calvin Pet- 
tey, who was a slave until his sixteenth year. During 
this period he served in the capacity of house boy and 
farm hand. After being emancipated he conducted his 
father's farm until he became of age. He learned his 
alphabet after leaving his master, and so great was his 
thirst for knoAvledge that he never went to the gristmill 
or paddled a solitary person over the river without hav- 
ing in hand his pocket companion, namely, Webster's 
blue back speller. 

The first contract made was with a young white lady. 
She was to instruct him in his speller as far as " baker " 
for the making of a pair of shoes. This being accom- 
plished, he kept on and on until he could read and write. 
Then commenced an indefatigable conquest of every 
book to be found. Hearing of Biddle Institute, at Char- 
lotte, N. C, he determined to wend his way thither. So 
after working hard for his father all day he would make 
baskets, brooms, and shoes by pine torches at night, 
catch muskrats for their hides, and sell them. At last he 
resorted to railroad work. In a few years, by using the 
closest economy, his savings amounted to $95 .45. On the 


last day of August, 1872, lie left home for the desired 
seat of learning, wearing a pair of shoes of his own make 
and a suit of clothes which he had helped his mother to 
spin. On the following day he entered Biddle Memorial 
Institute, where he studied for seven years, paying every 
cent of his board and tuition save seventy-two dollars 
given him by the North Carolina Conference and friends. 
While in college he assisted a brother of his in the same 
institution and sent a niece to Scotia Seminary. During 
his stay at Biddle he organized a literary society, which 
still exists as the most important literary association in the 
now Biddle University. He won the respect of students 
and professors alike, and for seven long years was never 
absent at roll call without an excuse. On the 5th of 
June, 1878, he graduated with high honors, being the 
Latin salutatorian of his class, and received the degree 
of A.B. 

Having been converted at the age of seventeen, he 
joined the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, 
-and long before leaving home for college he was in deed 
and in truth his own father and mother's class leader, 
also a public school teacher. He was licensed to exhort 
August 4, 1868, by Rev. George Frost, at Wilkesboro, 
N. C. ; licensed to preach by Bishop Hood, August, 1872. 
On December 1 1 of the same year he was ordained dea- 
con by Bishop Hood. From that time until he gradu- 
ated he had charge of country circuits in the vicinity of 
Biddle University. His summer vacations were spent in 
teaching. By this means he made his way through col- 
lege, frequently walking fifty miles from Friday evening 
until Monday morning in order to fill his appointments. 


Immediately after graduating he was elected principal 
of the city school in Charlotte, N. C, which position he 
resigned four months later, was ordained elder by Bishop 
J. W. Hood, at Chester, S. C, and sent to take charge 
of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church at Lan- 
caster Court House, S. C. While there he founded the 
" Pettey High School," * and was its principal for three 
years in connection with his church work. Many of his 
students, of whom he feels justly proud, are now con- 
spicuous race leaders. Prominent among them we find 
the Clintons, Colberts, and the present principal of said 
school, Professor Douglass. In 1880 he was elected Re- 
cording Secretary of the General Conference, in Mont- 
gomery, Ala. , and became conspicuous in said Conference 
because of the active part he took in its proceedings. 
In December, 1881, he was transferred to the East Ala- 
bama Conference and appointed by Bishop J. P. Thomp- 
son, M.D., D.D., to the charge of Clinton's Chapel, 
better known as the "Old Ship," Montgomery, Ala., 
where he served acceptably for three years, paid off its 
church debts, more than doubled its membership, and as 
an evidence of his value to them as pastor they paid him 
one hundred dollars per month, which was remarkable 
for that period. He was also a member of the General 
Conference which convened in New York, May, 1884. 
Even there he was mentioned as a candidate for the 
episcopacy while yet under thirty-five, and was elected 
general secretary. When the connection was about to 
lose its membership and property in Knoxville, Tenn., 
he of his own free will and accord consented to leave 

* Now called Lancaster High School. 


Montgomery, and went to Knoxville without the hope of 
a dollar, to save Zion in Tennessee. While there he was 
smitten with pneumonia, came near losing his life, but 
was nursed back to health and vigor by his first faithful 
wife. He resigned his pastorate, and was unfit for fur- 
ther service till the latter part of 1885, when he was as- 
signed to Chattanooga, Tenn., preparatory to going to 
California. During his stay of four months in Chatta- 
nooga he greatly revived the church, paid off all debts 
and trebled its membership, then exchanged pulpits with 
Rev. A. Walters, of San Francisco. While in California 
he made for himself and the connection a name that will 
not soon be blotted out. For two years he was pastor 
of Stockton Street African Methodist Episcopal Zion 
Church and Presiding Elder of California and Oregon. 

When elected to the bishopric in New Berne, N. C, 
May, 1888, he was presiding elder of the coast and gen- 
eral secretary of the connection. After his election he 
was assigned to the Sixth Episcopal District, embracing 
the West Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, and California 
Conferences. Under his judicious and energetic man- 
agement these four Conferences have enlarged into six. 
And the report of the rapid growth and spread of the 
Church under his administration was very encouraging 
to the last General Conference at Pittsburg, Pa., where 
he was again, by the special request of his several Annual 
Conferences, returned to the Sixth Episcopal District. 
On the morning of September 19, 1889, he was married 
to his second wife, Miss Sarah E. C. Dudley, of New 
Berne, N. C, who has traveled with him extensively in 
the United States, Mexico, Great Britain, and continental 


Europe. He has occupied some of the most noted pulpits 
of the world. In July, 1890, he was tendered a seat upon 
the rostrum of the British Wesleyan Conference which 
convened at Bristol, England. He was cordially received 
by Dr. Parker and the lamented Spurgeon, of London. 
He assisted in administering sacrament in City Road 
Chapel, John Wesley's old church, and had the distin- 
guished honor of preaching the Sabbath school anniver- 
sary sermon at London Square Chapel, Cardiff, Wales, 
where he completely captivated his audience. He was 
right royally entertained by "His Grace" the Lord 
Archbishop of Canterbury, at his home, " Lambeth 
Palace," London. He was frequently complimented with 
tickets to both houses of Parliament. As an educator he 
has done yeoman service for the race ; not long since he 
founded the Jones Institute of Tuscaloosa, Ala., and 
served as its first president. 

As a preacher and pulpit orator he stands high. About 
four years ago his alma mater conferred the degree of 
A.M. upon him; about the same time Livingstone Col- 
lege gave him the degree of D.D. He is a natural born 
scientist, well versed in belles-lettres and classic lore. He 
is an original thinker. He reads men and things at sight. 
He is 'a true specimen of fully developed manhood, tall 
in stature, symmetrical in figure, courteous in manner, 
pleasing in expression, affable and, withal, dignified in 
appearance ; a most devoted husband and tender, loving 
father. He presides with grace and ease over his Con- 
ferences, and preaches with a wonderful magnetism, 
never failing to electrify his audience. — A Sketch of 
Bishop Petteys Life, by Mrs. Sarah E. C. Dudley Pettey. 



Bishop Harris is the youngest of a family that have 
made their mark in the various fields of theology, medi- 
cine, teaching, and technical industry, thus representing 
an unusual degree of versatility and success. He was 
born in Fayetteville, N. C, August 25, 1844. His father 
died when he was three years old, and at six years of 
age he, with the rest of the family, was taken to Chilli- 
cothe, 0., where his education immediately began. His 
narrow escape from drowning, about a year afterward, 
may be construed as a special manifestation of providen- 
tial care. 

In 1854 the family moved to Delaware, O., and in 
1857 to Cleveland. He continued attending school in 
Ohio uninterruptedly till 1861, when he finished the 
course in the Cleveland Central High School. It might 
be here remarked that while Mr. Harris took the training 
of the superior schools of Ohio he is in a notable degree 
a self-taught man . His life has been an unbroken period 
of rigid study and steady acquisition from books and 
from nature. The following trio of dates might prob- 
ably be termed his tripod of destiny, namely : 1863, when 
he joined the American Wesleyan Church, Cleveland, O., 
Rev. Adam Crooks, pastor; 1867, when he joined the 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Fayetteville, 
N. C. ; and 1866, when, with his brother Robert, under 
commission of the American Missionary Association, he 
began teaching in Fayetteville, N. C. 

The first date and its occurrences represent his affilia- 
tion with Protestant Christianity, and there has been no 


truer and more intelligent representative of it in the 
land among the colored race. The second date and its 
occurrences represent his attachment to African Metho- 
dism, in which, through his particular branch, the African 
Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, he became a licensed 
preacher in 1872. In the same year he joined the North 
Carolina Conference. As a member and minister in the 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church his labors have 
been legion and his success signal, while no man in his 
denomination has commanded a wider or more sincere 
appreciation. The third date and its occurrence repre- 
sent his connection with the profession of teaching, to 
which, in Fayetteville, Charlotte, and Salisbury, N. C, 
he gave so many devoted and fruitful years. 

Christianity, African Zion Methodism, teaching — these 
three have been the great signboards of Bishop Harris's 
destiny ; these have engaged his best and most arduous 
labors, and these have brought to him not only greater 
and more fruitful labors but constant promotions and 
enduring honors. 

In January, 1874, he was ordained a deacon. In De- 
cember of the same year he was ordained elder in Con- 
cord, N. C. The reader of this sketch should not con- 
clude that there was undue haste in these ministerial 
promotions, for Mr. Harris had been such an industrious 
and successful student that he was able to pass with dis- 
tinction all the examinations leading to them. He had 
also demonstrated his capacity and merit by his success in 
organizing and pushing forward church work. But it 
would be proper here to refer to that pursuit of Mr. Harris 
which has been largely coordinate with, if not antecedent 


to, his work as a clergyman, namely, his experience as a 
teacher. In this capacity he doubtless received his larg- 
est preparation for his permanent lifework in the higher 
callings of the Church. For a number of years in Fay- 
etteville, Charlotte, and Salisbury he was a favorite in- 
structor, always impressing his pupils not only as an ex- 
ceedingly lovable friend, but as an accurate and specially 
well-founded teacher. His mind was not only healthy 
and vigorous by reason of a wide range of information, 
but his daily preparation for his school room duties gave 
him the mastery of the subject under consideration and 
reassured his pupils of something fresh and entertaining 
at every recitation. At Fayette ville he was assistant to 
his brother, Robert, founder of the North Carolina State 
Colored Normal School, and now of honored memory. 

In 1880, at the General Conference, then in session at 
Montgomery, Ala. , Bishop Harris was appointed business 
manager of the Star of Zion, the chief connectional jour- 
nal of the Church. In connection with the editor, Pro- 
fessor A. S. Richardson, he conducted the paper with 
success, but in consequence of added duties and respon- 
sibilities he resigned his position in 1882 in favor of the 
Rev. J. McH. Farley, of Petersburg, Va. His connec- 
tion with the educational work of the African Methodist 
Episcopal Zion Church began with the founding of Zion 
Wesley Institute (now Livingstone College) at Concord, 
N. C, in 1879, an d from that time till he was elected to 
the bishopric in 1888 he was a leading light and most 
trusted factor in the faculty of that institution, either as 
principal or treasurer and business manager. Around 
him as about no one else centered the fortunes and 


hopes of the larger number of the students, and to the 
day of his resignation no one dared forecast the future of 
the college with Professor Harris absent from the pilot 
house. But this varied and extended experience as edu- 
cator, while referred to heretofore as coordinate with, 
was more truly preparatory to, his great work as a Chris- 
tian minister and bishop in the Church of his choice, if it 
might not be considered as measurably complementary to 
it. It was said that "all roads lead to Rome." It is 
seemingly equally true that Mr. Harris's entire expe- 
rience seemed to have been only on converging lines 
leading up to deservedly high stations in the Church. 
The bishop had been a member of every General Con- 
ference of his Church since and including the quadren- 
nial session of 1876, when the Conference assembled in 
Louisville, Ky. At this Conference he was chosen assist- 
ant to the general secretary, and two years later, in the 
interim, was appointed by the Board of Bishops as gen- 
eral secretary. In 1880 he was elected general steward, 
and as such held all the moneys and valuable administra- 
tive documents of the Church, thus filling both offices of 
general secretary and general steward till 1884, when 
these offices were separated, but without giving entire 
satisfaction to the Church. It should be observed that 
this partial dissatisfaction had its rise very largely in the 
fact that our subject had executed the duties of the com- 
bined office with such extraordinary proficiency. Mr. 
Harris's integrity, diligence, and efficiency continued to 
commend him to the favor and recognition of the Church 
till 1888, at the regular quadrennial session at New 
Berne, N. C, when he was elected and consecrated by 


the General Conference as bishop. He had thus by- 
rapid but safe and merited strides attained the highest 
honor of his Church and received its bestowment with 
universal esteem and good will. 

The chief characteristics of the bishop's style are lucid- 
ness, elegance, and force, always choosing apt and ex- 
pressive words and combining them according to the 
rules of grammar, as well as in harmony with the princi- 
ples of the best English. 

Bishop Harris is essentially a logician, preferring the a 
priori method of reasoning and always leaving his argu- 
ments so well supported that there remains no loophole 
for a would-be antagonist or contestant. In fact, his 
discussions beam with such a flood of sincerity that one 
hesitates to take issue with him lest the opponent should 
be regarded as callous. 

The bishop's mind is systematic and well poised. As 
a preacher he is persuasive and forceful, never losing 
confidence in the power of ''the word." As a Meth- 
odist he is strictly orthodox, and believes in evangelical 
religion pure and simple. 

We now come to the broader view of our subject as 
man, friend, and husband. One only need look into his 
face and shake his hand to be impressed with his genial- 
ity and good spirit. But to find out what manner of man 
he is it is necessary to know him as a friend. As a friend 
the bishop is confiding, but not to a fault ; and while this 
confidence remains unshaken he may be counted on to be 
absolutely faithful. As a husband he is devoted and 
constant, always displaying most commendable zeal for 
the comfort and happiness of his family. 


This sketch would be incomplete without mentioning 
the bishop's lovable and highly intelligent wife. Their 
marriage took place on the 17th of December, 1879, and a 
more mutually helpful union must be hard to find. Mrs. 
Harris, hardly less than the bishop himself, has com- 
mended herself to the favor of the African Methodist 
Episcopal Zion Church, serving for several years as ma- 
tron of Livingstone College, and secretary of the Ladies' 
Home and Foreign Missionary Society of the Church. 
She is thoroughly in sympathy with all the bishop's work, 
and one rarely thinks of him without thinking of her. 
Fortunate is he who comes under their roof and observes 
and shares the joys and comforts of their home. 

The bishop's worth and scholarship have not escaped 
the notice of competent judges outside of the Church and 
in the literary world. In the spring of 1891 he was hon- 
ored by Howard University with the degree of Doctor of 
Divinity. This itself would be sufficient proof of distin- 
guished merit, for Howard University bestows her honors 
with due caution. Withal Bishop Harris is a rare man of 
rare attainments, in the prime of life, and with a future 
of unbounded success and still larger rewards stretching 
out before him. 


Bishop Clinton was born in Lancaster, S. C, on the 
22d of May, 1830. His owner, Irvin Clinton, although 
a leading lawyer, did not debar his human chattels from 
the privilege of gaining knowledge from books. He 
rather took delight in assisting them to learn. Hence 
the subject of this sketch received the rudiments of an 



education before the surrender. He was the trusted 
foreman and confidant of his master while a slave, and 
continued in the chief management of his business after 
emancipation, until he acquired sufficient property of his 
own to occupy his attention. He began to preach before 
emancipation. He had the privilege of preaching to his 


people in the afternoon in the same church in which the 
white people worshiped. He, too, taught private school 
on his former master's plantation soon after the war. 

In 1866 he organized the Mount Carmel Church, about 
eight miles from Lancaster, at which place he established 
a public school. When Bishop J.J. Clinton went to South 


Carolina to organize the Conference he found the then 
preacher, I. C. Clinton, ready to take hold of the work. 
(He regarded Isom Clinton as one of the strongest men 
he had met in the South.) He received holy orders at 
that time and entered upon his great missionary work. 
He was made presiding elder in 1872, and continued in 
office until he was elected to the bishopric. He was 
Conference steward from the time that office was created 
until the district steward was provided for in 1880. He 
was district steward until that office was abolished, and 
in 1888 he was elected general steward, which office he 
filled until he was set apart to the bishopric. He received 
the honorary degree of D.D. from Livingstone College 
in 1887. 

At the General Conference in 1 892 he was elected and 
consecrated a bishop. He was for four years the treas- 
urer of Lancaster County during the Republican regime, 
and when Wade Hampton was chosen governor he com- 
plimented Clinton by retaining him in office for several 
months, when not another Republican treasurer was re- 
tained. He has obtained a large store of scriptural 
knowledge, and is a very able preacher. — Extract from 
the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Quarterly. 


Bishop Walters was born in Bardstown, Ky. At an 
early age he manifested deep concern about spiritual 
things. At the age of eight he became a pupil under 
Mr. Brown, of Wicklirle, and at twelve years of age he 
joined the Church. For four years he was employed in 
hotels and on steamboats at and about Louisville, Ky. In 



1876 he moved to Indianapolis, Ind. Here lie began the 
study of theology under private tutors. In 1877 he mar- 
ried Miss Katie Knox, of Indianapolis ; was licensed to 
preach May, 1877, by the Quarterly Conference of Black- 


ford Street African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church; 
joined the Kentucky Annual Conference of the African 
Methodist Episcopal Zion Connection at Indianapolis, 
September, 1878, and was sent from that Conference to 


Corydon, Ky. Here he was very successful in financial 
and revival work. He remained in this appointment two 
years. He was ordained a deacon at St. Louis in 1879, 
and was appointed to Cloverport, Ky., in 1880, where 
he remained One year. In 1881 he was appointed to the 
Fifteenth Street Church, Louisville. His spiritual and 
financial success in this charge surprised his most san- 
guine friends and admirers. In 1882 he was elected sec- 
retary of his Conference and treasurer of Zion s Banner. 
In 1883 he was transferred to Stockton Street African 
Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, San Francisco, Cal. 
This church is the finest and largest Afro-American 
church in the far West. Here he was successful in three 
years in raising fifteen thousand dollars, lifting a mort- 
gage which had been on the church for many years. His 
spiritual success with this charge was phenomenal. In 
1886 he was transferred to the Tennessee Conference and 
stationed at Chattanooga. He began a revival on the 
first Sabbath there which resulted in the conversion of 
one hundred and seventy-five souls. His financial suc- 
cess was equally as great. Sickness prevented him from 
remaining longer than one year in this charge, and he 
was sent from Chattanooga to Knoxville. Here he was 
crowned with his usual success, both spiritually and finan- 
cially. From Knoxville he was transferred to the New 
York Conference and stationed at mother Zion Church, 
New York city, where he has been for four years. In 
that time he has taken in nearly seven hundred members, 
and has raised over thirty-two thousand dollars. In 
April, 1 89 1, the degree of D.D. was conferred upon him 
by Livingstone College, Salisbury, N. C. The honor was 


a merited one. In 1889, through the kindness of the 
members of his church and friends, he was permitted to 
travel through Europe, Egypt, and the Holy Land. 
Bishop Walters is intensely a race man ; he never lets 
an opportunity pass without saying something to better 
the condition of the race. At Pittsburg he was elected 
bishop by a good majority during the General Confer- 
ence, and was duly consecrated to that office. — From the 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Quarterly. 






New York has the honor of the first Methodist meet- 
ing held in this country. In a work called Lost Chapters 
of Early Methodism we are informed that Captain Webb, 
with a few others, met in a sail loft in Shelby Street, at 
the south end of New York city, in 1765. The John 
Street Church in that city was built in 1769. The first 
African Methodist Episcopal Church was also formed in 
this great city. Here the nucleus of Negro Methodism 
was first formed by James Varick and his coadjutors. 
From this point that movement started which has re- 
sulted in the establishment of Negro churches in every 
section of our broad land. 

The preachers of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion 
Connection had occasional Conferences as early as 1 8 1 2 ; 
but the first regular meeting of the New York Confer- 
ence of which we have a record was held in New York 
city June 21, 1821. There were nineteen preachers at 
this session. Dr. Phoebus, of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, by invitation, presided, and Rev. Joshua Soule 
(afterward bishop) acted as secretary. This shows the 
kindly feeling of a portion of the Methodist Episcopal 
ministers toward our organization. The Rev. Freeborn 
Garrettson, the first presiding elder of the New York Dis- 


trict of the Methodist Episcopal Church, visited the Con- 
ference and gave his colored brethren words of cheer. 
At the Conference which assembled in 1822 Bishop James 
Varick presided. This Conference has at times been 
pretty large, much larger than it is at present. It was 
the only Conference organized during the first thirty 
years of the history of the Church. It continued to be 
the largest of all until the formation of the North Caro- 
lina Conference, which took and still holds the lead of 
all the Conferences. 

In 1829 the Philadelphia Conference was set off, and 
at later periods the New England, Genesee, and New 
Jersey, making in all four Conferences set off by the 
New York Conference. Besides this the Mission Board of 
the New York Conference furnished the means and the 
Conference furnished the men with which Bishop Clin- 
ton carried Zion's banner to the far South and organized 
the Louisiana Conference. Out of the territory origi- 
nally embraced in the Louisiana Conference some seven 
or eight Conferences have been formed, so that the New 
York Conference may truly be called the ' ' mother of 
Conferences." It is still the largest of the Northern 
Conferences, except the Philadelphia Conference, which 
was made larger by being consolidated with what was 
once called the Southern Conference. This Conference, 
in the early history of the Church, exercised a very large 
influence in the legislative body, and of the ninety-one 
delegates at the General Conference in i860 thirty-nine 
were from the New York Conference. It has furnished 
the connection nine bishops, as follows: James Varick, 
Christopher Rush, William Miller, William H. Bishop, 


G. A. Spywood, John Tappen, James Simmons, Peter 
Ross, Sampson D. Talbot. The present roll is as follows : 

Presiding Bishop, J. W. Hood, D.D. 

Presiding Elder, M. A. Bradley. 

Elders, Revs. * Jacob Thomas, D.D., T. O. R. Williams, 
*Clinton Leonard, *W. H. Decker, *Jephtha Barcroft, 
Abram Anderson, T. E. G. Thomas, J. R. B. Smith, 
R. H. Stitt, G. E. Smith, H. S. Hicks, Floyd Mills, E. S. 
Prime, C. E. Waters, W. A. H. Pringle, S. F. Dickson, 
W. J. Smith, E. G. Clifton, W. T. Carpenter, E. J. Mil- 
ler, J. H. Jones, George. H. Simmons, Charles H. Ten- 
eycke, C. E. Steward, A. J. Talbot, A. M. Walker, W. 
H. Abbott, J. S. Caldwell, Lewis Williams, *J. H. Smith. 

Deacons, Revs. P. M. Jackson, J. M. Butler, C. W. 

Local Deacons, Revs. William Phillips, E. H. Smith, B. 
F. Foy, J. H. Steward. 

Vice President Ladies' Home and Foreign Missionary Soci- 
ety, Mrs. Alice Stitt. 

Of the sixteen ministers now living who were members 
of the General Conference in 1864 six are members of 
this Conference. Revs. J. Barcroft and C. Leonard are 
superannuated ; Rev. Peter Coster f is supernumerary. 
He reminds us more of the old time than any other now 
living ; he is wonderful on his knees. He is over six feet 
high, broad shouldered, has heavy eyelashes and a free, 
open countenance. He is a very acceptable preacher yet. 
The other three, Revs. W. H. Decker, Jacob Thomas, 
D.D., and James H. Smith, are all able men. Father 

* Those thus marked were received in Conference previous to 1864. 
t Died since above was written. 


Decker, as he is now called, has filled all the important 
stations in this Conference, having been a. member of it 
for fifty years. We know of no other man of the race who 
has been a member of one Conference so long. Through 
all of these years he has maintained a good character. 
Jacob Thomas, too, has been a long time a member 
of this Conference, and has probably built more brick 
churches than any other man in the connection. J. H. 
Smith is. the ablest preacher of the lot, and has done good 
work. The break made in his record by his going to the 
Methodist Episcopal Church some years ago lost him the 
influence and the place he would have otherwise occupied 
in the history of the Church. There are a number of 
promising young men in the Conference, of whom, no 
doubt, the future historian will have something to say. 


The Deceased Wife of Right Rev. J. P. TJwmpson, of the 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. 

The late Mrs. Catherine Thompson, wife of the Right 
Rev. Joseph P. Thompson, M.D., D.D., of Newburg, 
N. Y., was born February 7, 18 17, at North Hampton, 
Lehigh County, Pa. She was a daughter of Simon Cor- 
nelius and Elizabeth Gilchrist. She was married in Wil- 
liamsport on November 16, 1841. She was an exceptional 
woman in many respects — amiable, pious, devout. She 
was a great organizer, and had wonderful executive abil- 
ity. Her greatest delight was in the Sunday school work. 
She devoted hours of earnest thought and prayer to the 
most effective means of attracting the youthful mind to 
the truths of the Scriptures. In the work she was ear- 


nest and persevering, and by her winning manner capti- 
vated the hearts of the children, drew them together, 
and her labors were almost always bountifully rewarded. 
In Church society work Mrs. Thompson occupied the 
highest place among her sister laborers ; always willing, 
always ready, no sacrifice seemed too great for her to 
make for the good of the 
cause. She was long hon- 
ored as the president of 
the Sons and Daughters 
of Conference of her 
Church (African Metho- 
dist Episcopal Zion), and 
was always active in per- 
fecting plans for its ad- 
vancement. The Bible 
was her book of books, 
and her familiarity with 
its contents was as re- 
markable as her many fac- 
ulties. Indeed, in depth 
of learning she ably coped 
with many of the clergy of her day. She was a valuable 
helpmate to her husband, and many long hours found 
them together discussing intricate scriptural doctrines. 

During the dark days of slavery her mind was riveted 
on the work of allaying the suffering of her unfortunate 
fellow-creatures. Many clever schemes she devised in 
effecting their escape from bondage. The incidents she 
and the bishop have related have been most thrilling in 
detail. The last official place Mrs. Thompson held was 




as treasurer of the Ladies' Home and Foreign Mission- 
ary Society of the connection. She died March 4, 1893, 
leaving her life-partner and one daughter, Mary A. Als- 
dorf, wife of Professor D. B. Alsdorf, and three grand- 
children to mourn her loss. — From " Ringwood' s Journal." 


E. G. Clifton, D.D., whose portrait is herewith given, 
was born in the city of Basse-Terre, St. Kitt's, British 


West Indies, on February 4, 1862. He was educated in 
the schools of his native city and came to New York in 
1877. There he attended college, his eyes failed, and he 


was compelled to travel South, going as far as St. Augus- 
tine, Fla., then through the West Indies during the 
winters of 1881 and 1882. He visited St. John's, New- 
foundland, and studied theology at the Royal Theological 
Seminary, at which place he was asked to go to Rome 
and finish his studies, after which he was to work for the 
cause in that Church. He did not go to Rome, but was 
ordained deacon by Bishop J. W. Hood, D.D., on May 
19, 1889, at Troy, N. Y. He was also ordained elder by 
the same on May 18, 1891, at Port Chester, N. Y. On 
May 15, 1893, Grenada University conferred the merited 
degree of Doctor of Divinity. In the encyclopedia of 
young divines the Rev. E. G. Clifton stands in the front 
rank. He is very active, and is as popular in social 
circles as in the field of Christian labor. On August 
13, 1885, he was married by the Rev. J. S. Cowles to 
Miss Ida Rogers, of New York. A cultured and refined 
lady is Mrs. Clifton. She is a great help to her husband, 
and he attributes his success to her sound judgment. She 
visits and attends all the services, and is a factor in Meth- 
odism of this century. 


Mark Anthony Bradley was born in Sussex County, 
Del., June 20, 1847. He entered the United States serv- 
ice September 9, 1864 ; was assigned to the Thirtieth 
United States Colored Troops ; mustered out September 
15, 1865. He was converted July, 1870, in Delaware, and 
joined the Methodist Episcopal Church there ; moved to 
New Haven, Conn., March 10, 1875, and united with the 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in that city. 



Two years after he was licensed as an exhorter by Rev. 
George H. Washington, pastor of the church. December 
6, 1 88 1 , he was licensed as a local preacher. While acting 
in that capacity he successfully organized a church at 
Derby, Conn. ; joined the Annual Conference held in the 


North Russell Street Church, Boston, Mass., presided 
over by Bishop S. T. Jones, June 20, 1883. During this 
time he organized a church at Hamden, Conn, (now 
called High Wood), with four members, and augmented 
the number to thirty-five, and was by Bishop Jones ap- 
pointed pastor in charge. Here he purchased a lot and 
erected a church edifice. At the Annual Conference 


held at Hartford, Conn., June, 1884, he was reappointed 
to the pastoral charge of the Hamden Church. June 3, 
1885, at the Conference held in New Haven, Conn., he 
was ordained deacon by Bishop Jones, and appointed to 
Norwich, Conn., where he purchased and paid for a 
church edifice worth three thousand dollars, reorganized 
the church with five members and took in forty additional. 
He was reappointed to this charge by Bishop Hood, at 
the Conference held at Bridgeport, Conn., in June, 
.1886. At the Conference at Providence, R. I., June 8, 
1887, presided over by Bishop Hood, he was appointed in 
charge of the church at Attleboro, Mass., where he re- 
modeled the church and added seven to the membership ; 
remained there one year. On June 13, 1888, he was or- 
dained elder, transferred to the New York Conference, 
and appointed to the New Rochelle charge, where he 
erected and paid for a parsonage worth one thousand 
dollars, and added twenty-five to the membership. At 
the Conference held at Troy, N. Y.\ May 15, 1889, he 
was appointed in charge of the church at Port Chester, 
N. Y. At this point his capabilities as a builder of 
churches was severely taxed, but with an indomitable 
will he not only built a fine church edifice, but an elegant 
parsonage as well. He remained at this charge four 
years, during which period he raised $13,725, and added 
forty to the membership of the church. During the last 
year of his pastorate at Port Chester he was appointed to 
the oversight of New Rochelle, and there purchased a lot 
worth $1,200 and built a church thereon costing $2,500. 
He was elected a delegate to the General Conference 
held at Pittsburg, Pa., May 4, 1892. At the Annual 



Conference held at Brooklyn, N. Y., May 17, 1893, he 
was elected Presiding Elder of the "Mother" Confer- 
ence, New York. 


This popular pastor of "Mother Zion " we regard as 
among the most promising of our rising men. He is 

level-headed and 
well balanced, 
brilliant and al- 
w a y s successful, 
and yet humble 
and unassuming. 
Of all the young 
men at the last 
General Confer- 
ence no other so 
fully met our ideal. 
He never flew off, 
but was always 
reasonable and 
safe. He showed 
no disposition to 
aspire for position, 
but gave the strongest possible evidence that his whole 
desire was to do what was best for the connection. ' He 
was born in Mecklenburg County, N. C, in August, 
1 862 . His opportunities for an early education amounted 
to less than two months in the year ; but he made good 
use of his time, working all day and studying at night. 
He was converted at the age of nineteen, married at the 



age of twenty, entered the ministry at the age of twenty- 
one, and notwithstanding the care of a family he entered 
Zion Wesleyan Institute (now Livingstone College) in 
1883, completed a course at that institution, and was 
graduated in 1888. 

Before going to New York he had charge at Elizabeth 
City, N. C, where he distinguished himself as a church 
builder, and at Petersburg, Va., where he showed that 
he could successfully handle a large debt. He joined 
the Conference in 1884, was ordained deacon in 1886, 
and elder in 1888. While at school he had charge of 
work near the college, and preached while he was getting 
his education. There is not an ungrateful streak in his 
nature. This is more than we can say for all young men. 


Rev. Jacob Thomas was born in the city of Philadel- 
phia, Pa., December 20, 1823, and was educated in the 
public schools with the exception of two or three years 
of private instruction by Mr. B. Reeves, a Quaker in 
whose family he lived a number of years. Some portion 
of his early life was spent in a printing office, where he 
learned the trade of printing sheet music. He came to 
New York about 1 840, and embraced religion in the Af- 
rican Methodist Episcopal Zion Church of New Rochelle. 
He married when about twenty-one years of age. Hav- 
ing joined the Church, he applied himself at once to the 
study of theology under the most distinguished ministers 
in Zion Church at that time ; he was licensed as a local 
preacher when about twenty-three years of age. He con- 
tinued his studies and assisted the circuit preachers until 



he joined the New York Conference, in 1857; he was or- 
dained deacon by Bishop W. H. Bishop, in 1859; a week 
later he was ordained elder in the Sixth Street Church, 


New York, which was then about uniting with Zion Con-, 
nection. At the Conference of 1867 he was elected 
Recording Secretary of the Conference, which honorable 
office he filled for eight successive years. He has served 
the following churches : White Plains, two years ; Pough- 


keepsie, six years — two terms ; during his first term he, 
with the assistance of Abram Bolin, built a church cost- 
ing $6,000. He was then appointed to Troy, N. Y., 
which church he served six years in succession, building 
a church and parsonage at a cost of $15,000, and in the 
meantime superintended and (with the assistance of Mrs. 
Amanda Foster) collected funds and built a church and 
parsonage at Tarrytown, costing $10,000. Upon leaving 
Troy, in 1867, he -took charge of this church at Tarry- 
town, serving three years. In 1889, after serving as gen- 
eral book agent of the connection for ten years, the church 
at Tarrytown requested his return, which was granted by 
Bishop Hood, and he served until 1893, about seven years 
in all. In 1870 he was sent to take charge of the church 
at Newburg, which he enlarged and remodeled at an 
expense of $2,000 ; at the end of the year the trustees of 
Zion Church, New York city, requested Bishop Clinton 
to appoint him over that church, to which request the 
bishop acceded ; he was therefore compelled to leave 
Newburg at the expiration of one year. He was ap- 
pointed to the New York church in 1871, remaining 
there four years, during which time he urged the estab- 
lishment of the Old Folks' Home, and saw it in operation 
before his time expired. Dr. Thomas was also a prime 
mover in the erection of a monument to the memory of 
Bishop Christopher Rush. He was next appointed to 
the church at Williamsburg, which he served four years, 
during which time he remodeled the church at a cost of 
$1,000. He was then given charge of the Harlem 
church, serving there four years. On leaving this charge 
he devoted his whole time to the duties of the Book Con- 


cern. In 1889 the Livingstone College of Salisbury, 
N. C, in recognition of faithful services, honored him 
with the degree of D.D. 


The Philadelphia Conference was organized May 25, 
1829, Bishop Christopher Rush presiding. There were 
seventeen preachers present, including three from the 
New York Conference. This Conference originally in- 
cluded about half of New Jersey and the whole of Penn- 
sylvania; in 1837 its bounds were extended to include 
Washington, D. C, and in 1844 Baltimore was added. 
The western part of Pennsylvania was taken from this 
Conference in 1849 to form the Allegheny Conference, 
and in making up the Genesee Conference a few counties 
in the northwestern part of the State were taken off of 
the Philadelphia Conference. This Conference was also 
weakened at a little later period by the formation of the 
Southern Conference, afterward called the Baltimore Con- 
ference, so that in 1864 it was the smallest Conference 
in the connection excepting the Southern Conference. 
In 1872, however, it and the Southern (or Baltimore) 
Conference were consolidated, and it is now known as 
the Philadelphia and Baltimore, and is the largest of the 
Northern Conferences. This Conference has furnished 
bishops as follows : J. J. Clinton, S. T. Scott, J. D. Brooks, 
and J. J. Moore. The present roll is as follows: 

Bishop, C. R. Harris, D.D. 

Elders, Revs. George Bosely, R. H. G. Dyson, D.D., 
S. S. Wales, C. E. Pepkins, J. W. Davis, W. H. Day, 
D.D., M. M. Bell, J. E. Price, P. E., J. B. Small, D.D., 


J. H. Anderson, R. J. Daniels, P. E., J. S. Cowles, L. G. 
Mitchel, I. R. Johnson, W. H. Wright, J. H. Hector, J. 
W. Martin, J. W. Smith, Charles Roles, S. T. B. Grace, 
J. W. Fairfax, G. W. Offley, D.D., T. H. Scott, J. T. 
Tilman, Logan Johnson, C. H. Wye, A. J. Spencer, F. H. 
Norton, Z. T. Brown, M. J. Snow, Henderson Butler, 
G. G. McFarland, J. F. Page, P. C. Lewis, M.D., J. W. 
Ruff, J. C. Turner, W. H. Tilman, J. W. Hall, N. B. 
Bell, G. W. Kincade, Milton H. Commile, A. C. Wash- 
ington, S. L. Mills, J. H. Williams, J. L. S. Huff, G. W. 
A. Talbot, J. C. Brown, James Stokes. 

Deacons, Revs. J. S. Johnson, J. H. Mason, William H. 
Johnson, S. R. Summerville, J. D. Adams, W. H. Cook, 
W. J. E. Roley, R. J. Lisby, D. F. Bradly, J. E. Williams, 
C. H. Hunter, W. W. Turner, William Johnson, Franklin 
Pierce, J. E. Nichols, J. H. Brooks. 

Preacher, W. L. Wilson. 

Local Elder, Rev. Charles Dingle. 

Local Deacons, Revs. Lloyd Watts, Benjamin Jones, B. 
H. Freeman, Stephen H. Stanford, Basil Chase, W. Saw- 
yer, George Tucker, W. L. Wilson, George L. Webb, 
Joseph Dent. 

Vice President Woman s Home Missionary Society, Mrs. 
Rev. J. P. Hamer. 


Robert Henry Garland Dyson was born in Washington 
City, D. C, in 1832. His parents were born slaves; 
but his mother, being a favorite of her old mistress, 
was set free before her marriage, that her children might 
be free, the child following the condition of the mother. 



His mother was married at sixteen ; at twenty she was 
left a widow with four children — Peter, John, Elizabeth, 
and Robert, who was only six weeks old when his father 

There were but two schools for colored people in Wash- 
ington at that time, and they were private schools. As 

REV. R. H. G. DYSON, D. D. 

the Widow Dyson did not feel able to undertake the edu- 
cation of all her children she thought it best to spend her 
efforts on her daughter. Robert, when about eight years 
old, seeing that his mother had to work out all day and 
then come home and work till late in the night, some- 
times nearly all night, begged her to let him go out to 
work. Soon after that he was hired out to a gentleman 
for five dollars a month, which was raised to eight at the 


end of the first month. He had the opportunity to attend 
Sabbath school only, which he attended at Ebenezer 
Methodist Episcopal Church, until some trouble in that 
church caused about one hundred members to come out 
and form the Wesley Zion Church. A Sabbath school 
was then formed, and young Dyson's name was first on 
the list. The instruction he received in Sabbath school 
was the whole of his scholastic training. 

When about twenty years of age he organized a choir 
in John Wesley Church, Connecticut Avenue, while that 
congregation was still worshiping at the private residence 
of the late Rev. John Brent, where the church was organ- 
ized. He gave the first thousand bricks for the church 
on its present site. He was early impressed with the 
importance of giving his heart to God, but had rested in 
the outward law until November, 1852. At this time a 
revival was going on at Wesley Zion, and Dyson was im- 
pressed to leave his choir in charge of his assistant and 
go down to Wesley Zion. He was deeply interested in 
the service from its commencement, and before the meet- 
ing closed he had passed from death unto life. This was 
the second Sunday in November. On the following Sun- 
day, at eleven o'clock, he joined John Wesley Church. 
Three months later he was appointed leader of the Young 
People's Meeting, and was also elected superintendent of 
the Sabbath school. At the end of six months he was 
received in full connection, and the same week was made 
class leader. In September, 1857, ne was licensed to 
exhort, and at the next Quarterly Conference he received 
a local preacher's license. In April, 1858, he was rec- 
ommended to the Annual Conference, which met in 


Philadelphia, was received on trial, and was appointed 
to the Washington City Mission. He organized Galbreth 
Chapel in a small room with three members, but soon 
had to get a larger place. He secured a lot and erected 
a church, which was dedicated in March, 1862, and 390 
members were enrolled. 

At the meeting of the Conference that year the Union 
Wesley Church on Twenty-third Street was reported to 
be $6,000 in debt and likely to be sold ; they were allowed 
less than one year to meet the obligation. The delegate 
asked for Dyson, and he was sent. Not only had he the 
debt of $6,000 to meet, but they were worshiping in the 
basement-, and the main audience room was simply in- 
closed. The debt was cared for, money raised, and the 
church finished and dedicated on Christmas Day, 1863. 
He remained in this charge two years. 

Rev. Joseph Hicks, who was stationed at Richmond, 
died suddenly, and Dyson was sent to that point. The 
mistake made by Bishop Brooks when he went to Rich- 
mond to plant Zion seems to have made our efforts at 
that point hopeless, and even Dyson was unable to res- 
urrect the opportunity which Brooks had buried. 

In 1866, at the request of the church, he was sent to 
South Howard Street, Baltimore. He did not have his 
usual success here, and brethren who regarded him as 
the bishop's pet criticised him for leaving that church 
and accepting an appointment at Hartford, as the church 
in Baltimore was lost soon after he left it. The financial 
condition of that church was such that it is not likely that 
it could have been saved by any means within our reach 
at that time. We see no reason to blame Dyson for 


accepting the appointment at Hartford. The " pets" of 
sensible bishops are the men upon whom they can depend, 
in great emergencies. The church at Hartford was in 
bad condition, and Bishop Talbot wanted a man of spe- 
cial ability; he had a very high opinion of Dyson, and 
therefore transferred him to that work. Dyson's four 
successful years in that charge proved that the bishop 
had not mistaken his man. If these men who whine 
because somebody else is preferred before them would 
study how to be useful and make themselves indispensa- 
ble necessities they would soon find themselves added to 
the list of the bishop's " pets." 

While Dyson was stationed at Hartford he organized a 
mission at Windsor, Conn., with sixty-five members, and 
one at Plainville with forty-five, both of which were per- 
mitted to go down under his successor. He went from 
Hartford to Providence, where he remained four years. 
While here he organized the church at Attleboro, which 
is now a good station. From Providence he went to 
Boston, remaining five years, and organizing the church 
in Cambridge, Mass., now a fine charge. His next ap- 
pointment was at New Haven, Conn. ; while here he 
organized the church at Derby, Conn., which bids fair 
to become one of the best appointments in the New 
England Conference. 

At the end of one year, against the wish of the church, 
Bishop Moore transferred him to the New York Confer- 
ence and appointed him to Old Zion Church. This is 
supposed to be the great objective point, but there are 
many charges in which a minister can do quite as much 
for the Master, with less labor, and possibly with more 



satisfaction. Dyson did well there, but we venture to say 
that it was neither the most pleasant nor the most profit- 
able of his several charges. He remained three years, 
and was petitioned for for the fourth year, but the bishops 
believed that a change would be better. We say bishops, 
for the presiding bishop was so much exercised over it 
that he consulted his colleagues. Dyson was then sent 
to John Wesley, Washington City, which church had long 
wanted him. The study was damp, and he took rheuma- 
tism ; he therefore asked for a change at the end of one 
year. The church had not boomed as was expected, and 
hence the congregation raised no serious objection to his 
leaving. It is quite possible that the Lord disappoints us 
sometimes lest we should become worshipers of men. 

Dyson was next appointed to Wesley Zion Church, 
South Washington, where he did the best work of his 
life ; possibly we ought to except the first four years, in 
which he built up a flourishing church, starting with 
nothing. His appointment to Wesley Zion was unex- 
pected to him, as also to the people. It was an alternative 
on the part of the bishop ; he had made up his mind to 
nominate Dyson for presiding elder or give him this 
charge. Dyson was unwilling to take the presiding 
eldership, and was rather inclined to take a transfer, but 
he made no objection when he heard his appointment. 
He found the church in a dilapidated condition, but made 
it one of the finest in the connection. He remained six 
years in this charge, in the church in which he was 
converted and in the Sabbath school of which he was 
the first scholar enrolled. He is now serving his second 
year in Galbreth Church, the successor of the original 


Galbreth Chapel, organized by himself about thirty-four 
years ago. 

Dyson is one of about a dozen elders who have come 
down from the second of the three periods into which we 
have divided the history of the Church. He is the only 
one of them in active service in the Philadelphia and 
Baltimore Conference. Rev. George Bosley belongs to 
the number, but he is not now at work in that Conference. 
Of the number of that class who remain, whom I have 
referred to as coming down from the second period, or 
who were elders prior to 1864, Dyson, Wilbur G. Strong, 
Jehu Holliday, Jacob Thomas, and W. H. Decker have 
distinguished themselves as pastors, organizers, and 
church builders. They have all done well, and deserve 
to have honorable mention while time shall last. If 
Dyson had gone South instead of East in 1868 he could 
hardly have escaped the bishopric. He received the 
honorary degree of D.D. from Livingstone College in 
1 89 1. He has frequently been a delegate to General 

REV. J. B. SMALL, A.M., D.D. 

John Bryan was the only child of John Bryan Small, but 
not of Kittie Ann, his mother. John is from a long range 
of ancestry whose progeny can be traced as far as about 
1720, according to record, and prominent relations still ex- 
ist in St. Joseph's Parish, Barbadoes, British West Indies. 

John was born on the 14th day of March, 1845, at Fra- 
zer, St. Joseph's Parish; his mother died in 1853, when 
he was eight years of age, and, as the boy was a favorite 
in his family for brightness, modesty, and candor, his 

2 34 


father sought to give him the best advantages possible. 
He received home instruction from a half-sister. Mr. J. 
W. Hewett was his first public instructor, and by recom- 
mendation of Bishop Parry, of the Established Church of 
England, he was sent to St. John's Lodge, where in four 

years he complet- 
ed its curriculum, 
graduating at the 
head of his class 
of fifty-six (white 
and colored) 
young men, de- 
livering the vale- 
dictory address ; 
and the following 
four years were 
spent in Codring- 
ton College, on 
the island of his 
birth, carrying 
with him first 
honor, favorable 
prophecy, and kindest wishes of his instructors and 

In 1862, at his request, his father sent him to visit 
Jamaica and other islands, and thence to the West Coast 
of Africa, where he spent three years and three months, 
and while there learned to speak the Fantee language, 
and was present when England crowned Quakuduo king 
of the Fantees. During his residence in Africa he vis- 
ited and spent his time in observing the customs, lan- 

REV. J. B. SMALL, A.M., D.D. 


guage, etc., at Sierra Leone, Cape Coast, Elmena, Dix 
Cove, Accra Lagos, Badagry, Bathurst, Gambia, Fort 
Bullin, etc. On his return from Africa he spent five years 
in Balize, British Honduras, where he was engaged as 
orderly room clerk, and finally became her majesty's chief 
clerk of the brigade office. 

Mr. Small's father was a strong Episcopalian of the Es- 
tablished Church of England, and so educated his son for 
its ministry ; but while in Honduras he professed a hope 
in Christ and joined the Wesleyan Methodist Church of 
that place, and finally its ministry. In 1 867 Mr. Small 
sent to his alma mater two documents, namely, "Greek 
Elements of Syllabication, Accent, and Punctuation," 
with an "Exegesis of Acts V," in the original, and in the 
following year received the degree of A.M. 

On his way to England Mr. Small came to the United 
States in 1871, and, being induced by Rev. R. H. G. 
Dyson and the late Bishop J. J. Clinton, D.D., united 
with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church two 
weeks after his arrival. He served many charges in the 
New England Conference, and was secretary of that Con- 
ference from the time he met it until he was transferred. 
He served eight years in the North Carolina Conference, 
where he filled very important appointments, and re- 
signed from the presiding elder's office after a year to 
avoid undue exposure of health. 

The Star of Zion of June 2, 1887, contained the follow- 
ing : ' ' Trustees of Livingstone College have voted the 
degree of D.D. be conferred on the following well-known 
ministers: Revs. J. B. Small, R. R. Morris, I. C. Clinton, 
and Professor William Howard Day." Dr. Small has 


won the name of a Christian gentleman, is a brilliant 
penman, an accomplished poet, and reads several lan- 


Perhaps one of the most notable and noteworthy ex- 
amples of what perseverance and indomitable will-power 
can accomplish, when coupled with natural ability, is 
clearly shown in the career of the subject of this brief 
sketch, Rev. G. W. Ofney, D.D., present pastor of 
Wesley African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, who 
was born in Hartford, Conn., in 1848. He attended 
school in both Hartford and New York until about twelve 
years of age, when he was bereft of a fond mother. At 
sixteen years of age he entered the United States Navy, 
and served with much credit for three years. In 1867 
he returned to school and attended a private institution 
at New Bedford, Mass. The oppressive nature of the 
condition of affairs at this time perhaps stimulated young 
OffLey to greater efforts, and he, regarding the peculiar 
condition of his people at that time, which was deplor- 
able, was among the first pioneer teachers who went 
South for the purpose of carrying the ' ' torch of enlight- 
enment." His first experience was in 1869, at Wilming- 
ton, N. C, which was at a time when it "tried men's 
souls," during the reconstruction era. Together with 
other things that made his stay in this section endurable 
was perhaps his meeting and final marriage to Miss 
Lizzie Richardson. 

The year 1870 found him at Mullin's Depot, S. C, 
where he remained for several years, holding many 
prominent positions of trust as well as honor. For more 


than a year he was a member of the Board of School 
Examiners. In 1871-72 he was appointed by Governor 
Scott as auditor of Marion County, and in 1874 was ele- 
vated as a trial justice by Governor Chamberlain, and 
was once elected as warden and twice nominated to the 
Legislature from the same county. He was a supervisor 
of election for the presidential campaign of 1876, and 
also stumped the county. He had the proud distinction 
of nominating Hon. J. H. Rainey for the last time to 
the United States Congress. Possibly few, if any, had 
narrower escapes from death than our subject while on 
the stump during the campaign of 1876. During these 
many hairbreadth escapes he was converted to God, in the 
fall of 1876. In the Church he has proven himself equally 
as earnest a worker and defender of his race as on the 
stump. After one year he entered the ministry as an 
itinerant in the North Carolina Conference of the African 
Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he held some 
most important charges, which are as follows: One year 
on the Shaw Branch Circuit ; three years at Durham, at 
which place he built a most handsome church, and two 
years at New Berne. He has proven a success in each 
of the charges held by him, and was much beloved by the 
people whom he served. In 1884 he joined the Philadel- 
phia and Baltimore Conference of the African Methodist 
Episcopal Zion Church, the denomination in which he was 
reared from childhood, and, as he frequently puts it, ' ' of 
which every living relative is a member." 

In this Conference he has been given some of the most 
important and responsible charges in the connection. 
He was pastor at York, Pa., three years, Harrisburg one 


year, and is at present serving the fourth year * at what 
is known as " Big Wesley," this city, located at Fifteenth 
and Lombard Streets, where he has been very successful 
in bringing many souls to Christ. His work and in- 
fluence exerted since his pastorate at Zion Wesley has 
been most pronounced, over four hundred persons having 
connected themselves with the Church, and there has 
been almost a continuous revival. Scarcely a month 
passes without some one confessing Christ. He is so 
well beloved by his congregation, both members and 
friends of the church, that there is a movement in 
progress, we understand, inaugurated by many not even 
members of his church, to ask for his return. As a 
preacher Rev. Offley is most impressive and forcible and 
fully imbued with a deep spiritual insight, and possesses 
all the essential qualities of a scholar and a preacher. 
The Board of Trustees of Livingstone College at a meet- 
ing in 1 89 1 conferred the. degree of D.D. upon Rev. 
Offley. — From the "Weekly Standard Echo,'" Philadelphia. 


James Harvey Anderson was born in Frederick City, 
Md., June 30, 1848. His widowed mother, unable to 
support her large family, put James out at seven years 
of age to work for his food and clothes during his 
minority. The white people by whom he was thus em- 
ployed treated him so cruelly that he ran away when he 
was about fourteen, and as there were no papers drawn 
his mother was the successful defendant in the suit en- 
tered for his recovery. In 1862 the Thirteenth New 
*He is at this time serving his sixth year. 


Jersey Regiment passed through Frederick City, and 
James hired himself as servant to Lieutenant H. Wells. 
This officer, being severely wounded at the battle of 
Chancellorsville, was dismissed, and returning home 
took James with him. Here for a short time he at- 
tended school, and made rapid advancement in the rudi- 
ments of an English education. He was converted 
March 4, 1870, licensed to 
preach February 2, 1871, 
joined the New York Con- 
ference May, 1872, was or- 
dained deacon 1874, and 
elder 1876. He has filled 
several important stations 
in the New York, New 
England, and the Philadel- 
phia and Baltimore Con- 

During his pastorate in 
Providence, R. I., he was 
instrumental in securing 
the repeal by the Legislature of the obnoxious marriage 
laws of that State. His speech before the committee 
who had charge of the bill was a masterly effort. In- 
deed, this was the first thing that brought him to the 
writer's notice. He led the political revolt in Rhode 
Island in 1882, which nominated Sprague for governor 
upon the Independent Republican ticket. He was the 
first colored man who received the nomination as a candi- 
date for the State Legislature. He declined in favor of 
Joseph H. Banks, who was elected. He has served as 



secretary in each of the three Conferences to which he 
has belonged, and as compiler of the Minutes in the lat- 
ter two. He was elected delegate to the General Con- 
ference in 1884, 1888, and 1892. He is the author of 
Class Leaders' Record, which received the indorsement of 
the last General Conference. He is now in charge of the 
Church at Harrisburg. Through all his years in the 
ministry he has been a hard student. He is a fine 
orator and a very popular preacher. 


J. W-. Smith was born in Fayetteville, N. C, January 
27, 1862, and was reared by his grandmother, who took 
charge of him at his mother's death, he being then only 
three years of age. He commenced his education in the 
graded school taught by the Harris brothers, Robert and 
Cicero. He was remarkably witty, even to a degree 
bordering upon clownishness. At the public exhibitions 
of the school when he appeared everyone expected some- 
thing laughable. With his humorous points there was, 
however, always a moral ; they were meant to hit, and 
he seldom missed the mark. He was of that turn of 
mind which gives a thoughtful person some concern ; if 
rightly trained such make useful men. John was fortu- 
nate in his teachers, and has done well. He entered the 
State Normal School in his native city, was graduated in 
1878, and delivered the valedictory. He was one of the 
number of between five or six hundred converts at a 
revival conducted by Rev. J. W. Davis, commencing 
the first Sunday in January, 1880. He was not among the 
early converts ; hundreds had embraced religion before 


he yielded, among the number some of his companions ; 
but he yielded at last, and was converted on the 4th of 
March. He was one of three hundred who were received 
in full connection on the 6th of June, 1880, and was 
licensed to preach October 4, 1880. He was admitted 
on trial in the Central North Carolina Conference in 1881, 
and acted as assistant sec- 
retary of the Conference. 
He also passed the exami- 
nation, and was ordained 
deacon at that Conference. 
The New Haven pulpit 
having been left vacant by 
the transfer of Elder Dy- 
son, Bishop Hood, who suc- 
ceeded Bishop Moore in 
charge of the New Eng- 
land Conference, found 
much difficulty in finding 
a man for that church. 
After several unsuccess- 
ful efforts he concluded to 
try Smith ; the church was 
consulted, and was found willing to take him, young 
and inexperienced as he was, if he was ordained an elder. 
The bishop consented to this, called a council of elders 
to meet him in Hartford, Conn., where Smith passed a 
satisfactory examination and was ordained elder on the 
4th of September, 1882. The bishop was severely criti- 
cised for ordaining Smith without his election by an 
Annual Conference, but the salvation of the church was 



at stake, and the bishop remembered that the Saviour inti- 
mated to the Pharisees that it is always lawful to do good. 
Smith's success .showed that the Lord was in it. 

Another bishop followed, and persons who were envi- 
ous of Smith's promotion misled the new bishop, and 
Smith was left without work. When the bishop learned 
the situation it was too late to provide for Smith in that 
Conference. If he had been sent to the Second Church, 
Providence, we would not have had the long- struggle to 
regain that church, which a woman, who ought never to 
have had charge of it, took from the connection. The 
person responsible was the greatest sufferer by it. 

Smith was sent to the Arkansas Conference to labor 
until the sitting of the Kentucky Conference, to which he 
was transferred, and was appointed to the Fifteenth 
Street Church, Louisville, Ky. When the critical condi- 
tion of Galbreth Chapel, in Washington, D. C, in the 
early part of 1884, made it necessary for Elder N. J. 
Green to take charge of that church, Smith was again 
transferred to fill the vacancy thus made at Baltimore. 
Since that time he has continued a member of the Phila- 
delphia and Baltimore Conference, and has had very 
great success, both in the temporal and spiritual work 
of the Church ; especially at Union Wesley, Washington 
City, and at Harrisburg, Pa. He is now engaged in 
completing a splendid parsonage at Carlisle, Pa. He has 
been Secretary of his Annual Conference for nine years, 
and Corresponding Editor of the Star of Zi'on for about 
the same length of time. He was a delegate to the 
General Conference in 1888 and 1892. He has an enter- 
taining style of writing, and loves to fight with his pen, 


but not otherwise. In Conference he is quiet, and in 
society decidedly agreeable. 


The New England Conference was organized in Hart- 
ford, Conn., June 21, 1845. There were seven churches, 
as follows: Nantucket, Mass.; Providence, R. I.; Mid- 
dletown, New Haven, Hartford, Stonington, and Bridge- 
port, Conn., 360 members. This is the second offshoot 
from the New York Conference. The ministers who 
were set off with this Conference were Thomas Henson, 
David Vandervere, Leven Smith, James Simmons, G. 
A. Spywood, Thomas James, John P. Thompson, and 
Dempsey Canady. 

This Conference, when we first became acquainted 
with it, was regarded as the strongest intellectually of 
any in the connection, and was foremost in the advocacy 
of whatever tended to the elevation of the race. Its 
standard for the reception and advancement of young 
men was higher, we think, than any other African Con- 
ference of that day. It was understood that no one could 
receive holy orders in that Conference without passing a 
creditable examination. There was a literary society 
connected with the Conference, and young men were en- 
couraged to improve their minds by the offer of rewards 
for the best essays. There were in that Conference at 
that time seven of the strongest men of the connection, 
namely: Samuel T. Gray, Samuel M. Giles, Sampson D. 
Talbot, James A. Jones, George A. Spywood, Peter Ross, 
and Joseph Hicks. It is. seldom that one Conference 
contains so many strong men. 


Among the promising men of that day were Revs. R. 
R. Morris and William F. Butler. That Conference led 
all others in its advocacy of total abstinence from all in- 
toxicating drinks as a beverage. The effect of the health- 
ful moral influence of those days is still seen in that 
Conference : neither the baneful effect of strong drink 
nor of tobacco is noticed upon the ministry of this Con- 
ference. It also maintains its record for intelligence and 
advanced religious thought. The present roll is as fol- 

Bishop, J. W. Hood, D.D., LL.D. 

Presiding Elder, N. J. Green, D.D.* 

Elders, Revs. G. H. S. Bell, G. L. Blackwell, A.M., 
S.T.B., A. Day, L. H. Taylor, J. F. Waters, E. G. 
Biddle, W. B. Bowen, J. E. Evans, W. B. Fenderson, 
C. D. Hazel, S. C. Burchmore, J. B. Colbert, A.M., 
C. Fairfax, G. M. Payne, C. C. Ringold. 

Deacons, Revs. Samuel E. Robinson, J. H. Young, 
W. J. Holland, S. W. Hutchins, C. Hatfield. 

Preachers, J. S. Johnson, A. J. Young, S. D. Wain- 
wright, R. E. Brown, John A. Hall. 

Local Elder, Rev. David Davis. 

Local Deacons, Revs. Allen F. Cooper, Richard Grant, 
Thomas Taylor. 

Vice President Ladies Home and Foreign Missionary So- 
ciety, Miss Eliza Gardener. 

The old men of this Conference have all passed away. 
It has given the connection only one bishop, namely, J. 
W. Hood. Bishops Spywood, Simmons, Ross, and Tal- 
bot were all members of this Conference for several 

* Deceased. 


years, but none of them entered the ministry there. 
They are therefore credited to New York. 

The New England Conference had at one time the 
most successful local mission board. As much as a 
thousand dollars a year was raised and expended for 
missionary purposes. The great work in the South was 
started by this institution. Three missionaries were sent 
to North Carolina by this board within a year ; before 
the war it sent missionaries to Nova Scotia and to the 
West Indies. This Conference still leads in raising 
funds for missionary purposes. It has the credit of form- 
ing the North Carolina Conference, which is the pioneer 
in our great Southern work; and the mother of many 
other Conferences. 

Miss Eliza A. Gardener has been the most conspicuous 
and the most useful woman in this Conference, if not in 
the entire connection. She has always been true to her 


George Lincoln Black well first saw the light at Hen- 
derson, N. C, July 3, 1 86 1. He is one of the eleven 
children of Haley and Catherine. His father died in 
1885, his mother in 1890. George was reared and re- 
ceived his first schooling in Granville County, near Ox- 
ford, N. C. He embraced religion in 1876, in his fifteenth 
year, and connected himself with Union African Meth- 
odist Episcopal Zion Church. He was received in the 
North Carolina Conference in 1881. His trial sermon 
was by all odds the best to which the writer ever 
listened. His first appointment was to the Morehead 



City Circuit ; he remained there only one year and built 
one church. Many were converted and added to the 
church. At the next Conference he asked to be re- 
lieved of pastoral work that he might enter Livingston 
College. He was ordained deacon at this Conference. 
He had only two dollars when he reached the institution ; 


he says he hardly knows himself how he managed to 
squeeze through his first session. 

It so happened that just as the institution closed in 
1883 Bishop Hood, who is noted for his great interest in 
progressive young men, having a vacancy in the Man- 
chester Circuit, Central North Carolina Conference, ap- 
pointed him to that work, where, during his summer 
vacation, he received $250 from church and public school 


teaching, which set him on his feet once more financially. 
He, in connection with his studies at school, held this 
appointment for nearly two years, traveling a distance 
for most of the time of one hundred and seventy-five 
miles fortnightly to reach the charge. 

At the Conference of 1884 he was left without an 
appointment so that he could give more time to study ; 
but in May, 1885, another opening was made just at a 
time when he needed some financial help. Rev. Abner 
Hill had caused some disruption in the mountainous sec- 
tion of the Conference which necessitated some changes 
to be made ; hence, Rev. Blackwell was appointed to 
Lincolnton Station to fill out the unexpired term of Rev. 
E. L. Campbell. Before entering on the work Bishop 
S. T. Jones, D.D., ordained him an elder, having been 
elected to orders at the previous session of Conference. 
He was reappointed to this station, where he achieved 
wonderful success. It was here that he, with the assist- 
ance of Revs. R. S. Rives, D.D., and J. W. Thomas, 
published the first daily Conference journal during the 
sitting of the Conference. In 1886 he was appointed to 
the Charlotte station ; but the dissatisfaction of the former 
pastor over his removal caused Blackwell to resign his 
appointment, and he was then sent to Statesville, where 
he spent one year of great prosperity. In 1888, after 
six consecutive years in Livingstone College, Rev. Black- 
well graduated in a class of ten — the second class to grad- 
uate from the classical department of Livingstone — with 
the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He was transferred to 
the New England Conference and stationed at Bridge- 
port, Conn., during 1888-89. Bte was removed at the 


Conference of 1889 to Cambridgeport, Mass., where he 
was sent especially to manage the debt on that church, 
which he did with great success. During his first year 
there he entered Boston University School of Theology, 
from which he graduated June 1, 1892, in a class of 
thirty-eight, of which he was the only colored member 
with the degree of S.T.B. This school of theology and 
Drew Theological Seminary, from which Rev. B. F. 
Wheeler graduated, are the two best divinity schools of 
the great Methodist Episcopal Church and among the 
best in the country. 

May, 1 89 1, Rev. Blackwell was appointed to North 
Russell Street African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, 
Boston, Mass. He has met with marvelous success in his 
work there. In the first six months of his pastorate he, 
with the assistance of his excellent corps of workers, was 
able to pay off the entire indebtedness on the church, which 
was one of twenty-six years' standing. In his great rally 
on December 13, 1891, he raised in a single day the sum 
of $2,015, perhaps the largest amount ever raised by a 
Zion minister in one grand rally. He was reappointed 
to this charge last June. Since then he with the trus- 
tees has had the church thoroughly repaired at the cost 
of $3,000. It was formally dedicated the third Sunday 
of September, 1892, by Rev. N. J. Greene, D.D., of 

In December, 1887, Elder Blackwell was wedded to 
Miss Annie E., eldest daughter of Presiding Elder D. I. 
Walker, of Chester, S. C, by Bishop S. T. Jones, D.D. 
She is a graduate of Scotia Seminary, and withal a young 
woman that thoroughly understands herself. She was a 


highly successful school-teacher, and taught with great 
acceptance in Statesville and Charlotte, N. C, and at her 
home in Chester, S. C. Her excellent attainments are 
pronounced, and she is a great help to the elder in his 
literary and parishional work. 

As to Elder Blackwell's ability as a scholar, his col- 
leagues easily concede to him a foremost place. His 
services as secretary of the Conference and compiler of 
Minutes, both in the Central North Carolina Conference 
and the New England Conference, have been of high 
value. It is said by many who ought to know that his 
style of publishing Minutes and the accuracy of the con- 
tents make the Minutes of the New England Conference 
surpass those of any other Conference. His ability to 
preach was acknowledged by the students while in college, 
and all the General Conferences at which he has had to 
preach concede his superior ability in this respect. Bishop 
Hood said in open Conference that ' ' Blackwell is the best 
manuscript preacher in Zion Connection. He reads his 
sermons almost as well as any can extemporize, and makes 
an impression at the end of every comma and period." 

Brother Blackwell, in copartnership with Rev. N. J. 
Greene, D.D., Presiding Elder of the New England Dis- 
trict, has undertaken the preparation of an encyclopedia 
of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. The 
title has been copyrighted, and the work is being pushed 
to completion as rapidly as reliability and accuracy will 
allow. Rev. Blackwell was a delegate to the General 
Conference at New Berne in i888, and at Pittsburg in 1892. 
— From the African Metlwdist Episcopal Zion Quarterly* 

* Rev. Blackwell is now professor of theology in Livingstone College. 



Nathaniel James Greene was born August 6, 1849, i n 
Philadelphia, Pa. He began school life at five years 
of age, completing the grammar and high school course. 

In July, 1864, he enlisted in the navy, and remained 
three years, serving upon the following vessels: Paw- 
tuxet, CJiocura, Roman, Norman, Constellation, North 
Carolina, Pensacola, Vermont, Ram, Nashville, and was 
steward at the hospital at Warrington, Fla. ; steward also 
for Captain De Camp, on board of the United States 
frigate Potomac, from which he was honorably discharged, 
at Philadelphia, July 5, 1867. Belonged to the North 
Atlantic Squadron, and was on the blockade, and present 
in both of the bombardments of Fort Fisher and Caswell, 
also among the first to enter Wilmington, N. C, the 
morning after the silencing and evacuation of the forts 
and the surrender of the city to the Union army. He was 
present also during the bombardment of the forts up the 
James River and the subsequent surrender of Richmond, 
Va. , and participated in the capture of blockade runners, 
and received some prize money ; encountered several severe 
storms, and had some miraculous deliverances. He was 
converted to Christ October 24, baptized in the Delaware 
River November 28, 1867, and became an ardent member 
of Zion Wesley Church, Lombard Street, below Sixth, in 
Philadelphia, and served in nearly every capacity in that 
church, and was a class leader and local preacher also. 
He became an itinerant preacher in Zion in 1880, and was 
ordained deacon by Bishop W. H. Hillery, and sent to 
Eutaw Chapel, Baltimore, Md., serving three years. 


During this period the congregation was removed from 
Eutaw Chapel to their present church home. There was 
also a congregation covered by Zion that worshiped on 
Pearl Street, an organization at Ellicott City, and at Lau- 
rel, Md., where through his energy a church was built 
and dedicated by Right Rev. J. J. Moore, D.D., and called 
Moore's Chapel. In 1884 he was removed by Bishop 
Hood to Washington, 
D. C, and placed in 
charge of Galbreth 
Chapel, to serve out the 
unexpired term of the 
late Rev. John A. Muli- 
gan, who had been re- 
lieved from the pastorate. 
The church was a frame 
structure on L Street, be- 
tween Fourth and Fifth, 
N. W. , and the people were 
anxious to purchase the 
church they now occupy, 
but because of a disagree- 
ment between pastor and 
people had failed; their 
prize seemed to have been lost to them, and they were 
in a state of despondency. Rev. Greene soon obtained 
the confidence of the entire people, and, with the assist- 
ance of Rev. J. S. Cowles and Bishop Hood, soon re- 
gained lost time and territory and secured to the people 
one of the finest churches we have in that city, at a cost 
of $16,500. The sale of the old church, and the trans- 



ferring of the money arising from such sale to the pur- 
chase of the new, left the debt on June 10, 1886, $12,700. 
Large revivals followed his labors in each of these charges. 
In Baltimore during his stay there were 146 who claimed 

In Washington, D. C, during his pastorate 210 were 
converted ; 1 1 5 of this number were in his last year and 
in one revival. In June, 1886, he was removed to Provi- 
dence, R. I., to lift up the heads of a people who for nine 
years had been struggling beneath what seemed to them 
to' be a heavy debt, and in one year succeeded in cancel- 
ling the mortgage of $1,400, with lumber and coal bills, 
as well as back salary owed the presiding elder. He 
raised nearly $200 toward the building fund, also estab- 
lished a circulating library for the benefit of the youth 
of the church. r 

In June, 1888, he was elected the Presiding Elder of 
the New England Conference, which office he has filled 
with profit to the Church, honor to the connection, and 
credit to himself, and won the respect and confidence of 
the Conference and of the several communities in which 
he is called to labor. 

He was several years the Secretary of the Philadelphia 
and Baltimore Annual Conference, and was also a promi- 
nent member of the examining board of holy orders and 
ministerial studies. He served also as book steward for the 
same Conference, and was one of their representatives in 
the General Conference of 1884 and in the centennial of 
Methodism in Baltimore in 1884; also at Washington, 
D. C, as commissioner to effect a basis of organic union 
between the African Methodist Episcopal and the African 


Methodist Episcopal Zion Churches. He was ministerial 
delegate to several Annual Conferences, and a delegate to 
the Ecumenical Conference of Methodism that met at 
Metropolitan Methodist Episcopal Church at Washington, 
D. C, October, 1891, and was the guest of the Western 
section of Methodism, as also the Methodist family * of 
Philadelphia, each of whom gave large receptions in the 
most prominent halls of their respective cities. He was 
ministerial delegate to the General Conference at Pitts- 
burg, Pa., May, 1892, and was one of the twelve commis- 
sioners sent to Harrisburg, Pa., from the African Meth- 
odist Episcopal Zion Church, to meet a like number from 
the African Methodist Episcopal Church, to prepare a 
basis of organic union, to be submitted to each General 
Conference, then in session, one in Pittsburg and the 
other at Philadelphia, Pa. 

In the General Conferences of 1884 and 1888 he served 
as secretary, and upon important committees; in 1892 
he also filled important positions upon committees, such 
as Book Room, Ecumenical Conference, Audit, Revision, 
and Finance. 

As a preacher he is logical, forcible, and enthusiastic. 
He received the degree of Divinitatis Doctor from Living- 
stone College, Friday, April 17, 1891. 

In 1885 he published in pamphlet form two sermons. 
He has written frequently for the Star of Zion, Boston Ad- 
vocate, African Methodist, and several other papers, and is 
now engaged in the preparation of an encyclopedia of the 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, in copartner- 

* This refers to receptions given to delegates at the close of the Ecumen- 
ical Conference. 


ship with the Rev. G. L. Blackwell, A.B., S.T.B. This 
work is to be a wonderful addition to the literary aspect 
of the Afro- American. He has completed his term of 
four years in the office of presiding elder, and has won 
for himself the love and respect of the entire New 
England district over which he has so ably presided. — 
Extract from " The New England Torch Light." * 


Samuel C. Birchmore was born in Baltimore, Md., 
1 84 1 ; was converted in Orchard Street Methodist Epis- 
copal Church in 1856, and united with that church. He 
attended school in Baltimore under Rev. Harrison Webb 
and Dr. G. T. Watkins; came to Providence, R. I., in 
1 86 1, and united with the First Church in 1865, under the 
pastorate of Rev. G. H. Washington; was licensed as 
a local preacher in 1866; was made a missionary and 
ordained by Bishop J. J. Clinton in Providence, August, 
1868, and sent to Key West, Fla., by the Mission Board 
of New England, remaining during 1868 and 1869, doing 
successful work in organizing churches in Tampa, Sim- 
mons, and Hammock, covering Dade and Marion Counties. 
He was transferred in 1870 to the New England Confer- 
ence and stationed at Bridgeport, Conn., remaining three 
years. In 1873 he was appointed to Middletown, Conn. ; 
in 1874, 1875, and 1876 he served at Hartford, repairing 
the church and increasing its membership greatly by 
revivals. In 1877 and 1878 he served the Second Church, 

* Since the foregoing was published Elder Greene has passed away. 
We unreservedly indorse what is said of him. He was among the best 
presiding elders that we have known. 


Providence, and in 1879 was transferred to the New York 
Conference and stationed at Oyster Bay, having Oyster 
Bay, Hempstead, and Jerusalem as a circuit. Here he 
saved the church at Oyster Bay, which had been split and 
an African Methodist Episcopal Society organized. He 


built a parsonage and repaired the church. The circuit 
was for the first time divided; Hempstead was made a 
station, and he was appointed pastor in 188 1. In 1882 he 
was sent by request to Poughkeepsie, and remained three 
years, repairing the church and adding to its membership. 
In 1885, 1886, and 1887 he served at Troy, N. Y. ; 


in 1888 he was transferred to the New England Confer- 
ence and stationed at Boston, Mass., remaining there two 
years, repairing the church and paying off eleven hundred 
of the twenty-two hundred dollars of debt, and increasing 
its membership. In 1891 he served Providence, Second 
Church, remaining two years. In 1893 he was sent to 
Bridgeport, Conn., and at the death of Presiding Elder 
N.J. Greene succeeded him as presiding elder of the New 
England Conference. He has been a member of the 
General Conferences of 1868, 1876, 1880, 1884, and 1892, 
always serving upon the Committee on Districts. 


J. B. Colbert was born in Cedar Creek township, Lan- 
caster County, S. C, June 28, 1861. He attended the 
common schools of the county until he was eighteen years 
of age, when he attended the Lancaster High School. 
At the age of twenty-one years he entered Livingstone 
College. After teaching several terms in the State of 
South Carolina he entered Livingstone College in January, 
1883, and was converted the third day after. He was li- 
censed as a local preacher in Concord, N. C, 1884 ; joined 
the South Carolina Conference 1 88 5 as a traveling preacher, 
and was stationed on the Indian Hill Circuit, where he 
served one year, during which time he raised more gen- 
eral fund than ever was raised by any of his predeces- 
sors, and built a splendid frame church. He was ordained 
deacon by Bishop S. T. Jones in 1886, ordained elder 
1888, and was stationed at Rock Hill, S. C, where he 
conducted a glorious revival and many souls were added 
to the church. The parsonage was handsomely repaired 


and much-needed improvements made in the church. 
His next appointment was the Fort Lawn Circuit, where 


he remained only a few months before he was transferred 
by Bishop Jones to the New England Conference and 


was appointed to the Zion Church at Derby, Conn., by 
Bishop Hood. Here the long-standing debt which had 
remained on the church since its erection was liquidated 
the first year of his administration. He remained here 
two years ; the last year he pursued a course of theology 
at Yale Divinity School in connection with his pastoral 
duties. Bishop Hood moved him from Derby against 
the wishes of the congregation, and sent him to take 
charge of the First Church, Providence, R. I. The peo- 
ple at Providence had been without a church for nearly 
three years, and were then worshiping in a hall, having 
been compelled to sell their church to make way for 
railroad improvements. Many of them had lost all 
hopes of ever rebuilding the walls of Zion. During this 
interval many of the older members passed away, while 
the younger ones lost interest in the church. With this 
condition of things Rev. Colbert commenced the arduous 
task of reviving their wavering interest and restoring 
their lost confidence. He did not find it the easiest task 
in the world, but he went about it with a determination 
to do the best he could under God.* In less than eight- 
een months the vestry of the church was completed at a 
cost of $16,143.17, including the lot upon which it is 
erected; the building alone costing over $12,000, all of 
which is paid for up to date (February, 1894) except 
about $5,300. The vestry was dedicated by Bishop 
Hood, November 26, 1893, assisted by visiting clergymen. 

* His predecessor, Rev. W. B. Bowen, had paid for the church lot $4,5°°, 
and had raised and put in bank over $3,000, which Rev. Colbert had to 
begin with. He (Rev. Colbert) inaugurated a most unique financial plan, 
which resulted in over $1,400 in the interest of the building fund of the 
proposed new church. 


William Benjamin Fenderson, A.B., S.T.B. , was born 
at Swansboro, N. C, November 7, 1856, and when 
eleven years old united with the African Methodist Epis- 
copal Zion Church, but did not receive the evidence of the 
new birth until he had reached his eighteenth year. He 
began the work of self-education late in life, having 
gone to school only two months prior to reaching his 
majority. He attended the State normal schools at 
Fayetteville, New Berne, and Plymouth, N. C, and in 
1884 went to Livingstone College, Salisbury, N. C, 
where he entered the senior class in the normal depart- 
ment, from which he graduated with the class of '85, the 
first class sent out from the college. In the fall of 1885 
he entered the classical department of the college, and 
graduated with the -class of '89, with the degree of A.B. 

While in college he became deeply impressed with 
what he had realized eight years previous — a divine call 
to the ministry, which he had formerly resisted because 
of his limited education ; but as God had so signally 
blessed him in his efforts to procure a liberal education 
he felt that he could no longer refuse to enter upon the 
work to which God had called him ; so at the age of 
thirty he was licensed to preach, and in the following 
year, 1887, joined the Western North Carolina Confer- 
ence of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, 
and was ordained deacon at the same Conference. 

During his last three years in college he preached at 
China Grove, Second Creek, and Cleveland, N. C, at 
which places God greatly blessed his labors. Many souls 



were converted and the churches repaired and beauti- 

In the fall of 1889 he entered the Gammon Theological 
Seminary at Atlanta, Ga., where he studied a year and a 
half. While there he accepted a transfer to the North 


Georgia Conference, was ordained elder and sent to 
Stone Mountain, Ga. 

In 1 89 1 he was transferred to the New England Con- 
ference, and stationed at Cambridgeport, Mass., where he 
is now serving his third year. His labors at this church 
have been a decided success, having greatly reduced the 


debt and conducted the most successful revival in the 
history of the church. 

Shortly after coming to Cambridge he entered the 
Boston University School of Theology, and graduated 
with the class of '93, receiving the degree of S.T.B. 

In May, 1891, Rev. Fenderson was married to Miss 
Emma Frances Hooper, a teacher in the city schools of 
Wilmington, N. C, and a graduate of Hampton Normal 
School, Hampton, Va. She has been helpful to him in 
both the pastorate and study. 


William B. Bowen was born at New Berne, N. C, 
March 12, 1853. He went North during the war with 
Surgeon J. M. Rice, of the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts 
Volunteers, and made Worcester, Mass., his adopted 
home. He was educated in the public schools of Worces- 
ter, having graduated from the grammar school and spent 
a year in special preparation for the ministry at Worcester 
Academy. He was happily converted December 19, 
1867, and joined the African Methodist Episcopal Zion 
Church. An association of physicians volunteered to 
educate him for the medical profession, but he refused 
this offer because he believed God had called him to 
preach the glorious Gospel. He was an active member 
of the Worcester church, and a trustee, class leader, 
superintendent of the Sunday school, and local preacher 
when he joined the New England Conference, having 
been made class leader when seventeen and filling the office 
eleven consecutive years ; received exhorter's license Au- 
gust 11, 1875, and local preacher's license February 4, 





1876, from Elder M. H. Ross. He entered the New 
England Conferenee June 16, 1879. The Conference 
appointed him to a scholarship at Zion Hill Collegiate 
Institute, but as the school was not in a flourishing con- 
dition Bishop Clinton, in the absence of Bishop Moore, 
who was in England collecting funds, advised him to enter 
the Worcester Academy, which he did. He was or- 
dained deacon April 12, 1880, at New Haven, Conn., 
and elder June 6, 1881, at Worcester, Mass., by Bishop 
Moore, served one year at Waterbury, Conn., and three 
* years at New Bedford, where he repaired and beautified 
the church and entertained Conference. Bishop Jones 
sent him to Cambridge to build up the mission work 
there. During his five years' pastorate in that city nearly 
a hundred souls were converted during several gracious 
revivals ; a lot was bought and the Rush African Meth- 
odist Episcopal Zion Church erected. In 1889 Bishop 
Hood appointed him to the pastorate of the First Church, 
Providence, where he remained three years, bought and 
paid for the beautiful site, and raised part of the money 
with which the new and commodious church was erected, 
recently dedicated by Bishop Hood. At Providence his 
labors were crowned with two glorious revivals, about 
one hundred and fifty professing to have found a Sav- 
iour's love. He is now serving his second year at Derby, 
Conn., and they have been years of ingathering of souls. 
A lot on which to erect a parsonage has been purchased. 
During his fourteen years' service in the New England 
Conference very nearly three hundred persons have pro- 
fessed to find the pearl of great price, nine thousand 
dollars has been collected and paid in the purchase of 



land and the erection of churches for God and Zion r 
besides the annual collections for educational, missionary, 
and other connectional and charitable purposes. 


No history of this Conference would be complete that 
failed to mention Rev. G. H. Washington, who was for 
a long time regarded as the strongest man in the Con- 
ference. Through his energy he kept this Conference in 
the lead ill finance. It was the first Conference that raised 
its full quota of fifty cents per member on general fund. 
The New Jersey is the only other Conference which has 
come to that point yet. He was long the Conference 
steward ; also the district steward during the period that 
the bishops were paid by districts. The church in New 
Haven is a monument to his memory as a church builder. 
He also secured the church in Boston. He died in good 
old age, and was buried in the honors of the Christian war. 


The fourth Conference was the Allegheny, which was 
the first offshoot from the Philadelphia Conference. This 
Conference was formally organized in 1849, but for nearly 
twenty years before that it had been designated as the 
Western District of Pennsylvania, and there were minis- 
ters who labored altogether in that district. The follow- 
ing named ministers were laboring in that, district as 
early as 1829: Jacob D. Richardson, Samuel Johnson, 
and Abraham Green. Bishops George Galbreth and S. 
T. Jones were among the number of those of whom this 
Conference was formed. This Conference was more 


affected by the split in the Church than any other. It 
seems to have gotten a setback at that time from which 
it took a great while to recover. But during the last 
eight or ten years it has gradually improved and has been 
divided, and the Ohio Conference has been set off from 
it. This Conference has given the connection two bishops, 
namely, George Galbreth and S. T. Jones. The present 
roll is as follows : 

Bishop, C. R. Harris, D.D. 

Presiding Elder, N. J. Watson. 

Elders, Rev. L. D. Blackson, J. T. Writt, G. W. Clin- 
ton, A.B., R. E. Wilson, P. R. Anderson, S. Claiborne, 
S. J. Whiting, M. M. Bell, J. C. Docket, N. Williams",* 
P. L. Cuyler. 

This Conference contains at the present time quite a 
number of promising young men. 

Pastor of JoJni Wesley Church, Pittsburg, Pa. 

Smith Claiborne was born in Barren County, Ky., in 
1847; was married in 1869 in Louisville. He embraced 
religion a little later in the Fifteenth Street African 
Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and joined the Vine 
Street Church under the pastorate of Rev. E. H. Curry. 
Three weeks after becoming a member he was elected 
superintendent of the Sabbath school, which position he 
filled to great satisfaction until 1876, when he joined the 
Annual Conference. Since that time he has been pastor, 
with a high degree of success, in the following churches, 
namely: Mount Olive, Eminence, Ky ; Manson Taber- 
* Lately deceased. 



nacle, Memphis, Term. ; Sherman Chapel, Lebanon, Ky. ; 
Bloomfield Circuit, Nelson County, Ky. ; Logan's Temple, 
Knoxville, East Tenn. ; Walker's Chapel, Madisonville, 
Ky. ; Washington Chapel, St. Louis, Mo. ; the second 


largest church in the Conference. He was at this point 
two years, and met with the most nattering success in 
every way. A thing that scarcely ever happens makes a 
memorable epoch in the life of this model man, namely, 
he was a very successful pastor of the church in which 


he was converted ; many of the members sang and prayed 
for him while he was lying at the anxious seat strug- 
gling for life eternal. He served this, the Twelfth 
Street African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Louis- 
ville, Ky. , for three consecutive years, and that, too, with a 
degree of success superior to that of any other man before 
or since his time, notwithstanding it is said that a prophet 
is not without honor save in his own country. In Jacob 
Street Tabernacle, which stands on the same spot of 
ground that Vine Street Church did, in which he was 
first licensed to preach, he was elected presiding elder 
in 1888 and assigned to the fourth district of the Ken- 
tucky Conference, which district now constitutes the 
Missouri Conference. A very bad state of affairs stared 
him in the face at nearly every church on the district. 
A complicated disease of financial and spiritual indigence 
threatened the loss of a number of them. But, unlike 
many, this brave and honest man met these troubles, and 
with the cooperation of his pastors and their parishioners lie 
prayed and labored diligently, honestly, and patiently for 
three years, at the end of which time he left the district 
clear of debt with but two exceptions, there having 
been paid between $800 and $1,000 on these, which put 
them out of danger; and besides that, four new churches 
had been built, three new societies formed, and church 
property valued at $1,200, with a good membership, was 
brought into the connection at Greenfield, 111., all of 
which was paid for when he resigned the office of pre- 
siding elder at the Annual Conference held at Hender- 
son, Ky., September, 1891, except $70, leaving the dis- 
trict two hundred per cent better than it was when he 


took charge of it. He has always made commendable 
reports at the Annual Conferences, which were backed 
up by a character that has been and is now beyond 
reproach or impeachment before the most scrupulous 
judges. He, has reported more general fund in propor- 
tion than any other member of either the Kentucky or 
Missouri Conference. He was a delegate to the General 
Conferences of 1880, 1884, 1888, and 1892. He always 
pays close attention to business and is a safe legislator. 


Editor of the ' ' Star of Zion" the Official Organ of the Afri- 
can Methodist Episcopal Zion CJiurcJi. 

The subject of this sketch was born in Lancaster 
County, S. C, March 28, 1859. His father having died 
when he was but two years old, he was brought up in 
the home of his grandparents, with whom he and his 
mother lived until he was sixteen years old. He received 
the. training of the common schools of Lancaster County, 
and entered the senior class of the preparatory depart- 
ment of the South Carolina University, an institution 
which has sent out some of the first men of the South, 
in both civil and ecclesiastical spheres. He remained in 
the South Carolina University until he had completed his 
sophomore year in the classical department. This was 
the year 1876, when Wade Hampton was elected by the 
Democratic party Governor of South Carolina, and as a 
consequence colored students were compelled to with- 
draw from the University. His education being thus 
suddenly broken off, he returned home, assisted his 
mother and grandmother in harvesting the crop of that 


year, and then began his career as a teacher in the public 
schools of his native State. It may be observed here that 
young Clinton was very much devoted to his mother, and 
that this devotion was largely the natural result of the 



pious training which she had given him. The death of 
his father when he was so young necessarily brought him 
more fully under the care and training of his mother and 
more constantly in her association. 

While at home young Clinton was appointed to the 
position of clerk in the office of C. P. Pelham, Auditor 


of Lancaster County, and remained in this position till 
called to larger fields as a teacher of his race. One inci- 
dent in connection with his experience in this office 
deserves special mention because of its suggestion of the 
guidance of the unseen hand of Providence. In connec- 
tion with his other duties he began the study of law in the 
office of two leading Democratic lawyers of Lancaster, 
and, as it was recommended by Blackstone, he undertook a 
close and earnest reading of the Bible. His interest in 
the Bible soon outgrew his interest in Blackstone and 
Kent ; and, having believed on Him who saves to the 
uttermost, he abandoned law as a profession and was 
licensed to preach on February 14, 1879. This was the 
turning point in his life. He continued preaching and 
teaching until November, 1891, when he joined the South 
Carolina Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal 
Zion Church, and ' ' forsook all and followed Him." From 
this time on Rev. Clinton's history is a part of the history 
of his Church in South Carolina and in the nation, as a 
preacher and religious teacher, with both tongue and pen. 

His first appointment as an itinerant preacher was near 
Chester, S. C. He resided in the town, and in order 
to complete his college course connected himself with 
Brainard Institute, a high-grade institution located there. 
This was another characteristic and significant step. He 
must complete the foundation upon which he proposed to 
build the education of a lifetime. 

While studying in this institution he so commended 
himself as an earnest and successful student that he was 
given by Rev. Samuel Loomis, A.M., the principal, a 
position as teacher, which afforded some remuneration 


and at the same time permitted him to carry out his reso- 
lution to complete his college course. He graduated 
with high rank, and entered more regularly upon the 
work of the itinerant ministry in his Conference. He 
continued in this capacity five or six years, when he was 
transferred by Bishop S. T. Jones, D.D., to the Alle- 
gheny Conference to take the difficult appointment of 
John Wesley Church, Pittsburg, Pa., perhaps the most 
important appointment west of New York. In this 
appointment he followed one of the most experienced 
and successful men in the entire connection, and one 
who, it was thought, had carried "John Wesley" to its 
high-water mark. But our subject made a new mark for 
her, and gave her a record and standing which alike 
astonished and delighted the membership and the chief 
pastors under whom he labored. The proof of the suc- 
cess of his management of this church was given in the 
manner in which it entertained the great General Con- 
ference of 1892. This appointment may be considered 
to mark the end of the first stage of Rev. Clinton's career 
as a rising young divine in his Church. 

Before proceeding to review the second stage of his 
career it would be proper to remark that during almost 
the entire period of Rev. Clinton's itinerancy in the 
South Carolina Conference he was without question the 
leading man of the Conference, confessedly the standard 
by which the best material of the Conference was gauged. 
He was a sort of standing secretary of the Conference 
and perpetual compiler and publisher of the Minutes. 
This distinction was due in no sense to an inclination 
to favoritism on the part of the Conference ; he won it by 


his merit as an accurate, painstaking, scholarly worker, 
and nobody thought of anything else than that this busi- 
ness of the Conference was in his hands. When he was 
transferred he was Conference steward, or connection 
treasurer for the Conference, showing that his colleagues 
saw in him not only scholarship, but sound business 
methods and unwavering integrity. These character- 
istics of Rev. Clinton had already opened up to him the 
columns of the leading papers of his State, like the 
Charleston News and Courier, the Charleston Sun, the 
Century, the Union Times, and the Lancaster Ledger; and 
all the colored journals sought him. His contributions 
to these periodicals always furnished evidence of thought, 
literary taste, and scholarship. 

Editor Clinton's popularity in his Conference and his 
influence in his State were the means by which the writer 
first came to a knowledge of his usefulness and prospects. 

Returning now to the beginning of the second stage of 
his career, we find him the accomplished, eloquent, and 
popular pastor of the John Wesley Church, Pittsburg, 
Pa. From this time on South Carolina can claim him 
only in common with other portions of the great Church 
of which he has now become a leading figure. Even 
before he left South Carolina, as a representative of his 
Conference in the General Conferences at New York and 
New Berne, N. C, his merits were acknowledged by the 
general Church in his being chosen assistant secretary at 
both these Conferences, and at the latter he was also 
created one of the commissioners of the African Metho- 
dist Episcopal Zion Church to confer with similar repre- 
sentatives of the African Methodist Episcopal Church on 


organic union. But along with his appointment to Pitts- 
burg the Church urged consideration of him as a suitable 
man to succeed Hon. John C. Dancy as editor of the 
church organ, the Star of Zion. Rev. Clinton had long 
ago demonstrated his right to such consideration by his 
luminous contributions to the papers above referred to as 
well as to the Star of Zion, and in Pittsburg as editor of the 
Afro-American Spokesman, to which position he was chosen 
by the colored ministers of western Pennsylvania of all 
denominations. He proved beyond a doubt that he had 
talent and calling in that direction. 

But he gives further and conclusive demonstration of 
his fitness for the position that was evidently looming up 
for him by projecting, founding, and running the African 
Methodist Episcopal Zion Church Quarterly. This effort 
showed not only his genius for organization, but his abil- 
ity to manage successfully a large and important literary 
venture. He ran the Quarterly on his own resources for 
two years, and then turned it over to the General Confer- 
ence in Pittsburg without a cent of cost to the connection. 
The Quarterly is now one of the established institutions 
of the Church, and if Editor Clinton had originated and 
established no other great enterprise this would be suffi- 
cient to give him perpetual fame in the Church. But 
brilliant and creditable as is this effort of his, it is only 
the door by which he enters into larger avenues of use- 
fulness to his Church and his race. At the General Con- 
ference in Pittsburg in 1892 he was elected by a good 
majority to the place of editor of the Star of Zion, his 
Church organ. He was by this choice elevated to one of 
the most responsible and distinguished positions in his 


Church — a position of honor, and one matched only by 
the presidency of Livingstone College in its requirements 
for scholarship, broad culture, and sound judgment as a 
good business man and high executive officer of the con- 

At the early age of twenty-one he married Miss E. J. 
Peay, of Rock Hill, S. C, who was also a student at 
Brainard Institute, the alma mater of her husband. This 
was a most happy union, and it is but just to say that Mrs. 
Clinton was a large factor in the rapid progress and 
advancement of her husband. The writer was an eye- 
witness of the halo of grace and gentle inspiration which 
her presence cast around the home of which she was the 
center. But, alas ! as the bud fadeth in the time of its 
sweetest fragrance her soul eluded the grasp of time and 
was transplanted to the great beyond, where it fadeth not 
for evermore. S. G. Atkins. 


This successful pastor of the church at Johnstown, 
Pa., was born in Charleston, S. C, July 8, 1864. He 
received his early training in the public schools. In 
1880 he completed his normal course at "Avery Insti- 
tute," in his native city. Being inclined toward the 
legal profession, he entered the law office of Lee & 
Bowen, where he successfully prosecuted his studies un- 
til the fall of 1 88 1, when he entered Claflin University 
with the intention of taking the classical course. Lack 
of means compelled him at the end of two years to leave 
school and engage in teaching. As principal of the 
Florence graded school he gave great satisfaction to 


trustees, parents, and scholars. He was converted in 
1 88 1 at a revival in Charleston, was licensed to preach 
in 1884, was received into the Annual Conference in 
1885, and, realizing the necessity of a better preparation 


for the work, he entered the Gammon School of Theol- 
ogy, Ga., where he successfully pursued the course, and 
at the same time served a circuit as pastor. He returned 
to South Carolina in 1887, and served acceptably the 
charges to which he was appointed. In 1890 he was 
transferred by Bishop Jones to the Allegheny Confer- 


ence, and stationed at Johnstown. He is the only col- 
ored minister in that city, and is a member of recognized 
ability of the Ministerial Association, before which he 
has read papers which were highly complimented. Rev. 
Wilson is a young man of fine promise. 


This Conference was organized September 13, 1849. 
This was the third offshoot from the New York Confer- 
ence, and was the last Conference organized by Father 
Rush. He presided at this Conference without an as- 
sistant. Possibly the distance was so great that it was 
not convenient for Bishop Galbreth to be with him. 
Ithaca, the seat of that Conference, we presume, was not 
so easily reached in those days. Bishop Rush had one 
Conference when he entered upon his bishopric. Dur- 
ing his twenty-four years he added four, and was able 
to deliver five to his successors when he retired. 

The Genesee Conference is in the western part of New 
York, including a few points in northeastern Pennsyl- 
vania. The bounds remain there as fixed in 1864. 
Very few new points have been added, because the field 
was pretty fully occupied at first. Several fine new 
churches have been built during the last ten years, and 
the membership has been increased, but there is not a 
very large number of our people in that region. When the 
Conference was organized there were twelve preachers 
in attendance and two lay delegates. From this it is 
seen that lay delegates were admitted as early as 1849. 
Only one hundred and thirty-five members reported. 
There was quite an increase during that year, for at the 


next Conference three hundred and twelve were reported. 
This Conference was unfortunate in giving to the con- 
nection the only bishop who was ever brought to trial 
for disgraceful conduct. We have mentioned his name 
before ; we will not repeat it here. The character, how- 
ever, of this Conference must not be judged by this 
fact. It has produced and is still producing men of in- 
telligence and moral worth. Besides the bishop who 
was a disgrace this Conference also furnished one who 
was a man of great distinction, Bishop J. W. Loguen, 
of whom we have spoken. 


J. W. Lacey was born of slave parents, in Fauquier 
County, Va., 1832; left the South when a lad about 
seventeen years of age, and found his way to the city 
of Harrisburg, Pa., where he was converted in 1856, 
joining the church there under the pastorate of Rev. 
J. P. Clinton. He next came to Binghamton, N. Y., 
where he received . local preacher's license from Elder 
William Sanford in 1858. In 1861 he went to Hayti, 
West Indies, where he received deacon's and elder's 
orders under Superintendent Clingman ; in the same 
year (1863) he was elected General Superintendent. 
During that year the two branches of Methodists, Zion 
and Bethel, held a convention at Gro Mound and united 
under the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Discipline. 
Superintendents Pierce and Clingman resigned at this 
convention, and he was elected superintendent of the 
united societies called Zion, the headquarters being in 
St. Marc, where they had a fine church edifice. While 



holding the office of superintendent of Zion on the island 
of Hayti he ordained S. S. Wales and Wesley Youngs 
as elders, and George Evans as deacon, besides several 
others. In 1869 he returned to the United States and 


joined the Genesee Conference, which convened in Wilkes- 
barre, Pa., September 4. In 1870 Bishop J. W. Loguen 
appointed him to the Ithaca charge, where he remained 
four years and repaired the church at a cost of twelve 
hundred dollars. In 1875 he was appointed to the 


Rochester charge, securing during his three years' pastor- 
ate twelve hundred dollars on subscription, which amount 
was collected by the next pastor and put into a new brick 
church. September 4, 1877, Conference convened in 
Binghamton, N. Y., Bishop J. J. Clinton presiding. 
Rev. Lacey was appointed to the Syracuse charge, where 
he paid off a mortgage of two thousand dollars and raised 
five hundred dollars for improvements, making two thou- 
sand five hundred dollars in that charge in two years. In 
1880 he was appointed to the Binghamton charge; the 
people were groaning under a heavy debt, and only the 
basement of their new brick church completed. He 
finished the auditorium, and paid four thousand four hun- 
dred dollars in five years, leaving a balance of fifteen 
hundred dollars which the Ladies' Aid Society of the 
church raised and paid since his departure. While 
pastor there he also secured a good church for the people 
at Deposit Station, valued at two thousand dollars. 


In the city of Wilkesbarre, Pa., the subject of this 

sketch was born. His religious instruction commenced 

very early. He was converted when about sixteen years 

of age in a revival during the administration of Rev. Isaac 

Stewart, January, 1876, and joined the church. Soon 

after he was elected superintendent of the Sunday school, 

secretary of the board of trustees, and May 10, 1876, 

received local preacher's license. Leaving the grammar 

school, he pursued a special course of study preparatory 

to entering the Genesee Conference, September, 1877, in 

Binghamton, N. Y., Bishop J. J. Clinton presiding. His 



first appointment was the Deposit, Walton, and Delhi 
Circuit, where he met with unprecedented success. His 
youthfulness, pleasant, attractive, and impressive address 


attracted the attention not only of the colored citizens, but 
thousands of whites, and in Walton and Delhi, where his 
predecessor failed, the largest white churches were filled 


to overflowing to hear the "Boy Preacher," and his 
services were in constant demand throughout Delaware 
County. After the sudden demise of Rev. Singleton 
Thompson, Binghamton, N. Y., he was appointed by 
Bishop Clinton to succeed him. While managing affairs 
there successfully, overcoming much prejudice because 
of his youth, he organized a society at Norwich, N. Y., 
forty miles distant, and secured a beautiful frame church 
valued at over four thousand dollars, debt two thousand 
three hundred dollars, formerly occupied by the African 
Methodist Episcopal denomination At the succeeding 
Conference, at Syracuse, N. Y., September, 1880, Bishop 
J. J. Moore ordained him elder, he having been ordained 
a deacon by Bishop Clinton at Auburn, N. Y., two years 
before. Although hardly of age Bishop Moore left him 
in charge (Syracuse, N. Y.), and he soon built up the 
largest congregation in the Conference. Successful re- 
vivals were held each year, and nearly two hundred per- 
sons were admitted into the church. In the largest 
revival one hundred and fifty, persons professed conver- 
sion. Aside from meeting current expenses nearly two 
thousand dollars was raised for church improvements. 
In 1884 Bishop J. P. Thompson appointed him to Ithaca, 
N. Y. Here his earnest efforts met with the usual suc- 
cess. He collected and paid nearly one thousand dollars 
in beautifying the church. He is now spending his fourth 
year as pastor in Rochester, N. Y. During his adminis- 
tration the society has doubled in membership, Sunday 
school increased to over one hundred and fifty members, 
and plans and specifications arranged for a new church 
costing $10,000. 


He has had several calls to the first churches in the 
connection, but has preferred to remain in the Genesee 
Conference. He was elected a delegate to represent his 
Conference at the General Conference, 1884, 1888, 1892. 
For several years he has been a diligent student. His 
contributions to the Star and Church Quarterly have been 
thoughtful and scholarly, alike creditable to his Church and 
race. The degree of Bachelor of Divinity was conferred 
upon him by Livingstone College in 1893. He is now en- 
gaged in preparing a history of the Genesee Conference. 
Young and ambitious, earnest, diligent, and faithful as 
a minister of Jesus Christ, a bright future awaits him. 


This Conference was comparatively short-lived. We 
find it represented in the General Conference in i860. 
At a later period its title was changed and it was called 
the Baltimore Conference. In 1872 it was consolidated 
with the Philadelphia Conference and called the Phila- 
delphia and Baltimore Conference. There is some talk 
now of dividing that Conference again ; in that case 
the part of the work which was originally the Southern 
Conference is likely to be revived as the Washington 

Secretary Woman s Home and Foreign Missionary Society. 

Mrs. K. P. Hood was born in Wilmington, N. C, 
August 10, 1844. Her mother was a free woman, and 
therefore she was born free. She began to learn to sew 
at five years of age, and before she was fully grown she 


was a first-class dressmaker. Her art in dressmaking, 
her habits of industry and careful attention to business, 
secured for her most desirable customers. She was only 
twenty-one when the war closed, and though handsome, 
both in feature and form, yet such was her sedateness 


and her natural modesty, together with that awe which 
is inspired by the character of a woman whose purity is 
conspicuous in every line of her face and every motion of 
her body, that notwithstanding Wilmington was occupied 
by both the Confederate and the Federal armies, yet she 
was never once insulted during the entire war. About 
two years after the close of the war she had saved a 


sufficient amount of money to pay for her board and 
tuition at St. Frances Academy, Baltimore, for some- 
thing more than a year. She was married in 1871, but 
her husband died in about six months after their marriage. 
Before his death he had bargained for a house and lot, on 
which he had made a small payment. She was unwilling 
to give it up, and therefore undertook to pay for it, which 
she accomplished with her sewing machine in about four 
years, sometimes sewing all day and most of the night. 
She has a determination to go through with what she 
undertakes which knows no discouragement, but laughs 
at difficulties and pushes forward. She was married to 
Bishop Hood June 6, 1877. She attended Sabbath 
school in the Episcopal Church, was confirmed in that 
Church, and was a very devout member, having embraced 
religion at a Methodist camp meeting. After she married 
the bishop she thought it her duty to join his Church, 
which was also her mother's Church. She has proven a 
most useful member. 

As stepmother she had a most trying position. Begin- 
ning with four children, ranging from five to eleven 
years, she had to raise them herself, for the bishop was 
seldom at home. The children had plenty of advice from 
meddlesome people who delighted in making trouble for 
the Wilmington lady. In this trying position she suc- 
ceeded so well that a stranger would never suspect that 
the children were not all her own. She has succeeded 
also in keeping them all in the right path, morally and 
religiously ; she has been much more than the ordinary 
mother, she has been teacher, guardian, and guide. By 
precept and example she has tried to impress upon them 


her own notions of chastity, of which she is a paragon, 
and she seems to have been successful to a large degree. 

As Vice President of the Woman's Home and Foreign 
Missionary Society she has taken great interest in the 
mission cause. She was the first lay member of the 
Church who contributed fifty dollars toward Livingstone 

The last General Conference honored Mrs. Hood with 
the position of secretary of the Woman's Home and 
Foreign Missionary Society. She holds the place with 
reluctance, because she thinks that the secretary should 
possess extraordinary literary attainments. 


William J. Moore was born in Beaufort County, N. C, 
April 4, 1837. At twelve years of age he took to the 
sea and endured hard sailor's fare for fourteen years' 
While on shore three winters during this period he 
attended night school. He embraced religion in 1855. 
In 1862, while sailing from the West Indies to New York, 
he was captured by Commander Lynch, master of a pri- 
vateer, and taken to his home at Washington, N. C. 
Here for a year he was compelled to serve as cook for 
the Tar River Navigation Company. He was licensed 
to preach in August, 1863. He was one of the twelve 
members who composed the North Carolina Conference 
at its organization in December, 1864, and was ordained 
a deacon at that session. During the latter part of 1864 
and nearly the whole of 1865 he was engaged with others 
in organizing. Each of them had charge, but were not 
at all confined to their pastoral work, for the Macedonian 



cry was heard on every hand, and the disciples scattered 
themselves as much as they could to meet the calls for 
help. This accounts for the rapid progress of the work 
during that year. As a result of their labors nearly every 
part of the State was represented at the next Confer- 
ence, and of this work Brother Moore had done his full 

share. At the second 
Conference, in 1865, he 
was ordained elder and 
appointed to Fayetteville 
Church. During this year 
he did a great deal of 
missionary work in the 
vicinity of Fayetteville, 
and brought up a con- 
siderable number of candi- 
dates to the Conference in 
1866. His next appoint- 
ment was Beaufort, and 
from there he went to 
Granville County and gave 
Zion a good start in that 
Baptist stronghold. At 
Salisbury and Statesville he exceeded all his predeces- 
sors ; in fact, no man since his day has had the church as 
well in hand at Salisbury as he had it. In Charlotte, 
Wilmington, and New Berne he made a record equal to 
any man who has had those charges. He was Confer- 
ence steward for about seventeen years. As presiding 
elder no one in the connection has made a better general 
record. At the Annual Conference in 1892 the bishop, 



having heard a great deal of clamor among the men for a 
change of presiding elders, had determined to let Moore 
down ; but when the delegates reported it was found that 
every church on his district had petitioned for him. He 
still holds the position. He has organized 68 congrega- 
tions, built 1 1 churches, and improved many others ; he 
has licensed 54 local preachers. He was among the num- 
ber of those who paid a dollar a month for nearly four 
years to give the Star of Zion a start. He was also 
among the first to put down fifty dollars for the institu- 
tion now so well known as Livingstone College, and has 
been from the beginning a trustee of that institution. In 
consideration of his great services the faculty of that in- 
stitution recommended him to the trustees for the hon- 
orary degree of D.D., which was unanimously conferred. 


Presiding Elder of the New Berne District, North Carolina 


Owen L. W. Smith was born a slave in Giddinsville, 
Sampson County, N. C, May 18, 185 1. After the war 
he went to New Berne, N. C, where he attended a 
private school for a short while. Leaving there at about 
sixteen years of age, he hired himself to Colonel C. W. 
Smith, an extensive farmer in Pitt County, N. C, who 
had a school on his farm for the benefit of his employees. 
Owen took advantage of this opportunity to obtain the 
rudiments of an education. He left the farm, and after 
drifting about for a while he obtained a school in South 
Carolina and began to teach on March 20, 1871. In 
1873 he was appointed magistrate by Governor F. J. 


Moses. He then began to study law. In 1874 lie ob- 
tained a State scholarship and entered the State Univer- 
sity. After leaving the university he continued to study 
law and teach school. He married a good Christian 


woman at White ville, N. C, on the 9th of April, 1878, 
and was converted at a camp meeting in 1880. He 
joined the North Carolina Conference in 1881, and was 
appointed to the Stantonburg Circuit. The following 
year he was appointed to the Magnolia Circuit. He in- 
creased the amount of general fund on this circuit from 


$4.80 to $74.98, built three churches, and organized a 
new society at Faison. His next appointment was to 
the Elizabethtown Circuit, from which he made a good 
report. His next appointment was to the Ingold Circuit, 
on which he labored three years. Here he built four 
churches and made an increase on general fund from $20 
to $100. He had charge at Kinston one year, and did 
well, notwithstanding his health was poor. After a few 
weeks' service on the Snow Hill Circuit, Cumberland 
County, he was appointed presiding elder of the Raleigh 
District. He has great ambition and untiring energy, 
and is truly loyal and devoted to the interests of his 
Church. He makes a good presiding elder. 


This Conference was organized December 17, 1864, by 
Bishop J. J. Clinton. There were twelve members, in- 
cluding the bishop. Small as was the number, this Con- 
ference sat for more than a week. It was, however, 
more a school than a Conference ; the men were instructed 
how to go to work to build up the kingdom of God. 
Only three of the twelve remain, and one of that number, 
Rev. David Cray, is one hundred and seven years of age. 

We have spoken elsewhere of the beginning of this work, 
but possibly a more extended statement may be interest- 
ing. The first of the missionaries who arrived on this field 
was J. W. Hood. He was not the first one appointed; 
John Williams was appointed early in 1863, but wasted 
several months in getting ready. It was generally be- 
lieved that he thought it not safe to go. Some of the 
members of the Mission Board which had furnished the 


money for his mission became impatient and urged 
Bishop Clinton to send Hood. As soon as the bishop 
learned that he was willing to go he sent his appoint- 
ment. Hood received the appointment about the middle 
of December, 1863 ; by the 1st of January he had moved 
his family to Washington City, and was on his way to his 
new field of labor. But there was so much ice in the bay 
that the Norfolk boats had to lay up. There was a thaw 
about the middle of January, and on the 20th of that 
month he arrived in New Berne. He found the Metho- 
dist church there in much confusion. Bishop Baker, of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church had sent Rev. J. E. 
Round to New Berne in 1862, and he had succeeded in 
getting the colored Methodist church, known as Andrew 
Chapel, to accept his services, with the purpose of tak- 
ing it into the Methodist Episcopal Church. Some 
time in the year 1863 a young white man by the name 
of Fitz, who was a Congregationalist, got in with our 
people, first as a Sabbath school teacher, then as an ex- 
horter, and finally obtained license from Round to preach. 
His object was to supplant Round in the hearts of the 
people and then make it a Congregationalist Church. 
In this he was backed by Chaplain James, a congrega- 
tionalist minister, who was Superintendent of Negro 
Affairs. When Round found that Fitz had some influ- 
ence he thought the best way for him to utilize it was to 
appoint Fitz as pastor and to act himself as presiding 
elder. By this means he kept the people quiet so long 
as there was no one there representing a colored organiza- 
tion. Though quiet they were not satisfied ; they had 
heard of old Zion Church in New York, and of Bishop 


Rush, who was a native of New Berne. They had heard, 
too, that a missionary from that church had been appointed 
to look after them. There were about three factions in 
the church. There were some who preferred Round 
to Fitz because he was a Methodist, and they were satis- 
fied that Fitz was only a Methodist for a purpose. There 
were some who preferred Fitz to Round because he knew 
better how to play a "part" with Negroes than Round 
did, but was much less honest. Then there were some 
who did not want either Round or Fitz. It can very 
easily be understood that a church in this confused state 
could accomplish but very little for the Master. 

On the same day that Hood arrived in New Berne two 
preachers from Norfolk, representing the African Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, also arrived. This increased the 
confusion. But it soon became evident that, so far as 
the colored people were concerned, the two white men 
were not considered. The contest was between the two 
colored organizations. The smallpox was raging and 
the churches were closed by military order. But the two 
delegates from Norfolk spent the time from Wednesday 
till Sunday in making a canvass from house to house. 
Hood was taken sick on Thursday, the 21st, and was un- 
able to get out till Sunday. Several of the leading breth- 
ren of the church called on him, however, and he thus 
learned the stories which the men from Norfolk were tell- 
ing. He learned that they had told many things which he 
knew they would not be able to stand to in his presence. 
• Sunday came, and, although public worship had been 
forbidden, yet it was thought that there would be no ob- 
jection to a meeting of the official board, which numbered 


about forty members. They met in a private school- 
house belonging to the wife of one of the members of 
the official board, namely, Joseph Green. The brethren 
from Norfolk were permitted to speak first. Hood called 
their attention to several things which he had heard of 
their saying which they had omitted in his presence. 
As they were not prepared to make good their statement, 
wildly spoken, he had them at a disadvantage, and by 
several skillfully put questions about the connection, of 
which they knew but little, he made it appear that they 
knew less about their own connection than he did, and 
that they knew of their own personal knowledge abso- 
lutely nothing about his connection, as they had never 
been north of Norfolk. The result was that after Hood 
and the men from Norfolk retired the official board 
voted unanimously to unite with Zion. The fare of the 
other two brethren was paid back to Norfolk, and they 
were requested to return at once and make no further 
effort. To this they agreed. This, however, was not 
the end of the contest. Both Round and Fitz were still 
on the ground and disposed to contend for what they 
claimed were their rights. Fitz, as a local preacher, was 
easily disposed of. He was informed that the Quarterly 
Conference had the power to revoke his license, and that 
his continuing to hold license depended on his good be- 
havior. This put a stop to his open fight, but, with « 
the assistance of Chaplain James (the Superintendent of 
Negro Affairs), he did a deal of secret work. Among 
other things he went to the commandant of the post and 
tried to have Hood driven out of the department by 
charging him with having held a religious meeting con- 


trary to military orders. Hood was sent for ; his papers 
were examined, and when it was found that he had a 
pass from General B. F. Butler granting him extraordi- 
nary privileges he was told that he was fortunate and all 
right. He noticed that from that time the officers ap- 
peared strangely partial to him, but not till some time 
after the close Of the war did he learn why he had been 
sent for and had his papers examined, nor why he had been 
dismissed with words of encouragement. Soon after the 
war, however, Fitz and one of his accomplices fell out, 
and then Hood learned the whole secret. 

Fitz could do nothing but plot in secret, but Round 
was not so easily disposed of. Hood had the people, but 
Round claimed to have authority from Bishop Baker to 
take charge of any Methodist church within the Union 
lines whose pastor had gone with the rebels, and that 
Bishop Baker's action was based upon authority from the 
Secretary of War. The claims of each side were care- 
fully prepared by Round and Hood, and were sent to the 
Secretary of War through General Butler's headquarters. 
General Butler examined the papers and presented to the 
Secretary of War his own view of the case. He said : 

" So far as I am informed both Hood and Round are regularly ordained 
ministers, and are both men of good character. The point at issue is, 
shall a congregation of colored people, who have owned their church and 
worshiped in it for twenty-five years, have the right to elect their own pas- 
tor, or are they compelled to have a pastor forced upon them by Bishop 
Baker's delegate ? There is an old Church maxim that a bishop cannot 
delegate his power." 

The Secretary of War simply wrote under this : 

" The congregation worshiping in Andrew Chapel are permitted to select 
their own pastor. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War." 


The papers were sent up about the ist of February, 
but it was near the middle of March before the answer 
came from Secretary Stanton. During the interim Hood 
went to Beaufort and received the church at that point 
into the connection. Round claimed this church also 
under Bishop Baker's authority, as also all the other 
churches in that section within the Union lines ; and if 
the case at New Berne had been settled in his favor 
Hood would have been shut out completely from that 
department. Round therefore paid but little attention 
to Hood's movements ; the result was that by the time 
the question at New Berne was settled Hood had the 
whole of the three thousand members which Round 
claimed, except about fifty in New Berne, who held out 
for a time, but finally came to Zion. About the time 
that the decision came from the Secretary of War the 
smallpox had so much abated that it was considered safe 
to open the church. It is possible that the prohibition 
was purposely continued until the contest was over. As 
soon as the secretary's decision reached New Berne 
Hood was informed of it. All the papers were sent to 
him, and he was also informed that the church might be 
opened for service on Easter Sunday. During the week 
preceding Easter Sunday the church was whitewashed 
and put in good order. Hood took the pains to have it 
announced that he would preach on Easter Sunday, even 
before Round knew of the decision. Hood was also 
early in the pulpit, as he knew that he who has posses- 
sion has nine points in law. The official board had de- 
cided to come to Zion, but the congregation was yet 
to be heard from. It was a beautiful spring Sabbath 


morning, and a beautiful spring morning in New Berne 
is hardly excelled anywhere under the sun. The occa- 
sion was great ; a preacher had come to serve his own 
race, a new thing under the sun. Besides this was the 
fact that his claims were disputed by a white man, and 
the question was to be decided by themselves. The 
black preacher had already become their hero by secur- 
ing to them the right to decide for themselves. He had 
spent two weeks in Washington, D. C, at his own ex- 
pense, visiting the office of the Secretary of War in 
their interest, and his mission had proved successful, 
of which fact he would that day give full evidence by 
papers from him. The church was packed, and the 
street in front of the church was full of people ; the con- 
gregation outside was nearly as large as that within. 
The preacher had spent several days in prayer to meet 
the occasion. He was certainly never better prepared to 
preach than on that occasion. He took for his text Matt, 
xxviii, 6, " He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. 
Come, see the place where the Lord lay." 

The presence of the Lord filled the house, and the 
people were truly joyful. At the close of the service the 
papers from the Secretary of War were read, and his 
decision. The question was put to the house, and the 
congregation unanimously agreed to unite with Zion Con- 
nection and to accept the minister who had been sent to 

Round gave up the contest, and he and Hood have con- 
tinued friendly up to the present time. But Fitz continued 
the fight, not on Hood, but on his flock. Through Chap- 
lain James he represented to General Butler that there 


were thousands of idle Negroes in New Berne who might 
be profitably employed on the Dutch Gap Canal. General 
Butler, not suspecting any wicked design, ordered that 
they should be sent to that work, but was careful to re- 
quire that no one should be taken who had a visible means 
of support, nor anyone who was not able-bodied and pos- 
sessed all his members. Notwithstanding this Fitz gave 
in the names of nearly all the leading members of Andrew 
Chapel, including men who were making as high as five 
dollars a day, and also four class leaders who were each 
blind of one eye and possibly fifty years of age. All of 
these class leaders he succeeded in getting away before 
their friends could intercede for them. Hood went to 
General Palmer, commandant of the post, and secured 
the release of most of his official members and some 
others. On one occasion he had to go to General Palmer's 
house at nine o'clock at night, and as he could not pass 
the sentinel by the front door he was let in the back way 
by the general's body servant. As the boat was to leave 
that night General Palmer took a lantern and went down 
to the landing. Chaplain James was superintending in 
person ; he assured General Palmer upon his honor that 
the man he was looking for was not aboard. But just at 
that moment the man hallooed out, " Yes, I am on here, 
and I want to get off." General Palmer turned on Chap- 
lain James and gave him such a tongue-lashing that Zion's 
members were safe from that time till the war closed. 
He said to the chaplain in conclusion, " See to it that I 
hear no more complaints." 

In May, 1864, Bishop Clinton arrived in New Berne. 
Great was the joy of the people at being permitted to see 


a bishop of their own race, and especially a bishop who 
was willing to become all things to all men, that he might 
by all means gain some. Bishop Clinton had no hide- 
bound notions ; whatever was necessary for the success of 
the Church he was ready to do. At his suggestion several 
persons were licensed to preach, most of whom made suc- 
cessful preachers. 

At the first Conference the work reported covered only 
that small portion of the State which was then occupied 
by the , Union forces, including Roanoke Island, New 
Berne, Beaufort, and the small strip of country lying 
between New Berne and Beaufort. But the close of the 
war the following May opened up the whole State, and 
each of the ministers who attended the first Conference 
did what he could to spread the work. 

Elder E. H. Hill went as far west as Charlotte and 
organized the church called Clinton Chapel. He licensed 
Bird Hampton Taylor, and put him in charge of the church. 
He came to Conference that year, and Bishop Clinton was 
so well pleased with him that he ordained him deacon in 
the morning and elder in the afternoon, and sent him back 
to Charlotte. He went back so happy that he just 
preached himself to death. He not only cared for and 
built up the church at Charlotte, but also went out in 
every direction and organized churches. He stopped 
not at the state line, but extended his efforts into South 
Carolina to the distance of fifty miles. It is quite safe to 
say that he formed the nucleus of as many as twenty 
churches. He did not live to finish his year's work, but 
while he was at it he did more than many a preacher has 
done in ten years. The work was extended eastward to 


Edenton and Elizabeth City, and several men were 
licensed who organized extensively in that section. 

Jeffrey Overton showed a license which he received in 
1 83 1, the year of Nat Turner's insurrection, after which 
time the Methodist Episcopal Church refused to renew 
the license of colored preachers. J. W. Hood, therefore, 
had the pleasure of renewing in 1865 licenses which had 
not been renewed since the year that he was born. 

Thomas Henderson was also one of the early organizers 
who did wonderful work. He organized many of the 
churches in the vicinity of Salisbury. After doing mis- 
sionary work for two or three years he was appointed to 
the church at Fayetteville, where hundreds were con- 
verted by his labors. From there he went to New Berne, 
where he died in the midst of a glorious work. 

Rev. William H. Pitts came to this Conference in 1865, 
and organized several churches in Edgecombe, Pitt, and 
Martin Counties. 

Rev. G. B. Farmer was also among the early preachers, 
and made his mark. The St-. Luke Church in Wilmington 
was commenced under his pastorate. He held the pas- 
toral charge at both New Berne and Fayetteville, which 
were regarded then as the most important stations in the 
State. He was among the strong men of his day. 

Rev. Daniel C. Blacknell was also a successful organ- 
izer and among the best and most useful men of his day. 
He was greatly respected by the white people as well as 
by his own race. 

The North Carolina Conference and those Conferences 
which have been set off by it have always shown a larger 
proportion of members to the number of ministers than 


other Southern Conferences. The reason for this is 
that in these Conferences the New England idea has been 
followed, which sets a high standard for the reception of 
ministers. In 1882 the East Alabama Conference had 
140 ministers and 14,000 members, or 100 members to 
each minister. The Central North Carolina Conference 
had 100 ministers and 20,000 members, or 200 members 
to each minister. Four Conferences have been set off by 
the North Carolina Conference, as follows: The Tennes- 
see, Virginia, South Carolina, and Central North Carolina. 
Out of the Central North Carolina the Western North Car- 
olina has been formed ; out of the South Carolina the 
Palmetto has been formed ; and out of the Tennessee Con- 
ference the West Tennessee and Mississippi and the East 
Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina; and out of the 
West Tennessee and Mississippi, the South Mississippi, 
making in all nine Conferences that have sprung from 
the North Carolina Conference. The territory embraced 
in these Conferences (excepting Tennessee) formed the 
Third Episcopal District for several years, and has for the 
last ten years raised fully one half of all the general fund 
raised by the entire connection. The sons of the Carolina 
Conferences are scattered all over the connection, and are 
everywhere making their mark. The roll of the North 
Carolina Conference is as follows : 

Presiding Bishop, C. R. Harris, D.D. 

Presiding Elders, Revs. W. J. Moore, F. K. Bird, D. T. 
Mitchel, John Hooper, O. L. W. Smith, L. R. Ferrebee, 
Secretary,* W. A. F. Moore, Assistant Secretary. 

Elders, Revs. H. J. Blanks, William Badger, C. Camp- 
* Deceased. 


bell, J. L. Cole, B. K. Elliby, W. H. Graham, J. N. 
Rasberry, J. H. Steward, I. B. Williams, Harmon Par- 
merly, Steward McKoy, A. M. Moore, A.M. ; W. A. 
Keyes, S. H. McKoy, H. C. Phillips, R. McKinsey, W. 
H. Wilder, W. J. Solomon, J. C. Price,* H. C. Harrison, 
J. S. Henderson, E. Morten, A. R. McKoy, T. H. Lovick, 
P. W. Lawrence, E. D. Jones, John Mosely, A. G. Smith, 
Hubbard Bell, E. A. Carroll, J. W. L. Council, A. T. 
Dove, J. Ii. T. V. Gray, F. B. House, William Sutton, 
E. Williams, J. W. Jacobs, S. I. Turner, A. Mclver, G. 
W. Lomax, Joshua Nelson, N. L. Overton, E. S. W. 
Simmons, D. L. Maultsby, R. Spruell, C. K. Smith, R. 
S. Rieves, S. B. Hunter, A. F. Moore, J. H. Mitchel, 
W. W. Lewis, J. W. Levey, D. L. Johnson, L. B. Wil- 
liams, L. R. Jefferson, Lewis Williams. 

Superannuated, Revs. C. Kelly, C. F. Moore, David 
Cray, F. B. Moore, Peter McNatt, Godfrey Caraway. 

Deacons, Revs. H. W. Farrior, W. A. Hall, W. H. Mc- 
Koy, B. J. Hill, S. M. Lloyd, C. T. Simmons, T. H. 
Hicks, T. C. Battle, E. W. Pritchard, R. Culbreth, A. 
B. Joyner, H. Whitley, Joseph Moore, Joseph Keyes, 
T. D. Flarrison, J. E. Hussey, W. W. Lee, J. M. D. 
Hill, B. D. Mclver, T. F. Shepherd, G. W. Turner, 
David Drake, T. H. Hall, P. A. Swindall, J. B. Smith, L. 
B. Blackledge, Amos Parker, Stanly Boyd, J. T. Tarbor. 

Local Deacons, Revs. H. S. Jones, Mingo Alexander, 
Brister Harris, Lewis H. Bryant, O. T. Salters, Fayton 
Taylor, William Williams. 

Preachers in Full Connection, T. H. Herring, A. M. Mar- 
tin, H. D. Jones. 

* Deceased. 


Preachers on Trial Second Year, James Tucker, Lot 
Green, J. H. Mosely, John Morris, N. W. McMillen, 
Hector Smith. 

Preachers on Trial First Year, W. J. McCall, R. G. Smith, 
J. E. Morris, H. Smith. 

This Conference has furnished the connection three 
bishops, as follows: Thomas H. Lomax, of Fayetteville, 
N. C, consecrated in 1876 at Louisville, Ky. ; C. C. 
Pettey, of Wilkes County, N. C, and C. R. Harris, of 
Fayetteville, N. C, consecrated at New Berne, N. C, 1888. 


Robert Harrison Simmons was born in Duplin County, 
N. C, April 14, 1839. His father's name was Briten 
Aldredge, a slave ; his mother's name was Drusilla 
Simmons, and was freeborn. His father and mother fled 
with their children to Cumberland County to prevent the 
white people from having them bound out. They were 
left in the care of their grandmother, who could read, 
and it was her pleasure to teach her grandchildren. Rev. 
Simmons first felt the workings of the Holy Spirit when 
quite young, and joined the Old Fleehill Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, six miles east of Fayetteville, when about 
fifteen years old, but made no open profession of religion 
until 1870. He had been a member of Evans Chapel 
before conversion ; joined this church while Rev. G. W. 
Price was pastor ; was converted while filling four public 
offices: school committeeman, deputy sheriff, jailer, and 
justice of the peace. Simmons was impressed to read the 
Bible to the prisoners on Sabbath days. It was while read- 
ing the word of God to his prisoners that his own sinful 



heart was melted and he felt the need of the blessed Sav- 
iour's love and pardon for his many sins. In the year 1 870 
he found the Lord in a quiet meeting conducted by the 
pastor, Rev. Thomas H. Henderson, in Old Evans Chapel, 
Fayette ville. After doing much work in the Church before 
and after conversion he was licensed to exhort May 22, 


1872. It was Simmons, in connection with others, that 
prevented Rev. G. W. Price from taking Evans Chapel 
out of Zion Connection. Price was appointed to the 
Lumberton work from the Annual Conference by Bishop 
Moore ; he (Price) was determined to remain in charge 
of the church in Fayette ville. Returning from Confer- 
ence he called the trustees together on Sabbath after- 
noon and got them to agree to keep him as their pastor 


instead of Henderson, who had just been assigned to 
the work. Simmons informed Brother D. A. Bryant, 
the chairman of the board of trustees, of Rev. Price's 
plans to take the church and people to the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South or North. Brother Bryant 
recalled the trustees on the same Sabbath, changed 
Rev. Price's plans, and let him go at once. Rev. Price 
claimed that the bishop and Conference had treated him 

Rev. Henderson took charge of the church and every- 
thing was working well. Very soon Rev. K. O. Burton, 
a white preacher of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South, came as an agent to take the church out of Zion 
and turn it over to the Colored Methodist Episcopal 
Church. But Rev. Henderson and people prevented him 
from explaining his intention in the church. It was an 
exciting time. The white people feared that the colored 
people would burn the church and endanger the property 
of the town. A wealthy white man, whose name was A. 
W. Steel, sent for Simmons and asked him to stop the 
Negroes, for he was afraid that they would burn the town. 
Simmons saw his chance, and said to Steel that he could not 
stop the colored people when the whites were trying to take 
their church that they had paid for while in slavery. At 
this remark of Simmons he was informed by Mr. Steel 
that he as a white man and a Methodist would prevent 
any further attempt to take the church. This agreement 
has never been broken. Simmons was granted a local 
preacher's license by the Quarterly Conference in the fall 
of 1872, and joined the North Carolina Annual Conference 
at Fayetteville in November of the same year. He was 


ordained deacon by Bishop Hood, in Fayetteville, 
N. C, December, 1872, and served Evans Chapel under 
Rev. J. A. Tyler, one year. In connection with his work 
in the home church he organized a church seventeen 
miles west of Fayetteville, named St. John. It is now a 
strong church. The next year he asked his bishop to 
give him an appointment away from home. The Annual 
Conference met in the city of Wilmington in 1873, and 
Bishop Hood appointed Simmons to the Dudley Circuit, 
in the county of Wayne. He built a church at Dudley, 
and bought the land on which to build Wesley and St. 
John's churches on the same circuit. In 1874 the Annual 
Conference convened in Newbern, N. C. ; Simmons was 
ordained elder by Bishop Hood and sent back to the 
Dudley work. He was also made Presiding Elder over 
the following circuits: Clinton, Magnolia, and Duplin. 
From the Annual Conference held in Concord he was sent 
to Washington, N. C, to Farmer's Temple, and served 
this church for three years with continued success. He 
completed the church and entertained the North Carolina 
Annual Conference in 1875. The membership increased 
nearly twofold in three years, the entire indebtedness was 
paid off, and he received a living salary. He was also 
principal of the Graded School at a salary of forty dollars 
per month. The white citizens sent a petition to the 
bishop and Conference asking for the return of Rev. Sim- 
mons the fourth year. The church also made a strong plea 
for his return, but the bishop sent him to Goldsborough, 
N. C. Goldsborough at that time was considered a pastor's 
spiritual graveyard. But, to the surprise of all concerned, 
the Lord very soon gave him the people in a grand revival 


of religion, and more than one hundred souls were added 
to Zion. The people wanted Simmons to remain the 
second year, but Bishop Hood said, "No, I want him 
for Salisbury, as the church there is a little off, spirit- 
ually." From the Annual Conference held in Lincolnton, 
1879, h e was appointed to Salisbury, N. C. There he 
found a fine people, but very hard to move spiritually. 
He had less success there in one year building up the 
church than in any other charge ; added only about forty 
members to the church, but increased the general fund 
considerably. At the close of the Conference year the 
people petitioned the bishop and Conference for his re- 
turn, but he was made Presiding Elder of the Fayette- 
ville District. He served the district four years with 
success, assisting the pastors in their spiritual and finan- 
cial work, building and repairing churches, etc. The 
churches built during the four years are as follows: 
Manchester, Jonesboro, Oak Grove, Long Ridge, Nor- 
rington, Beaver Creek, Egypt, New Zion, Zion Grove, 
Orr Hill, Mount Olive, Mount Zion, and Hood's Chapel 

He was next appointed by Bishop Jones Presiding 
Elder of the Wadesboro District. Here he met another 
fine class of people and pastors, who gave him their co- 
operation in building up the churches and work on all 
lines. They built several new churches during the four 
years, namely, Marven, Centenary, Forestville, New Zion, 
Anson ville, Mount Airy, Pleasant Hill, Luther, Good- 
win's, Gibson's, St. Matthew's, Laurinburg, and Kyzer's 
Chapel. Many souls were converted and added to the 
churches ; the general fund and pastor's salary increased 


annually. The pastors and membership petitioned the 
bishop and Annual Conference to reappoint him for the 
fifth year, but Bishop Moore saw fit to send him back to 
the Fayetteville District as presiding elder, where he 
served for one year and a half. Thus he had served for 
ten years and a half as presiding elder. In the month 
of May, 1890, Rev. J. B. Small resigned his pastoral 
charge of St. Luke's Church, Wilmington, N. C. Bishop 
Thompson, the presiding bishop of the North Carolina 
Conference, came to Fayetteville in company with Bishop 
Hood and thought it best for Rev. Simmons to give up 
his district as presiding elder and take a transfer to the 
North Carolina Conference, that he might put him in 
charge of St. Luke's Church. After consideration he 
accepted the Wilmington church, after the bishop had 
brought the matter before the membership, they agree- 
ing to ask the bishop to appoint him. He had grand 
success in bringing the scattering members back to the 
fold, three hundred and sixteen joining the church dur- 
ing the two years and a half he was in charge. The 
church was in debt, but before the Annual Conference 
nearly every dollar had been paid, and more than $100 
in bank. The pastor was paid in full each year before 
he left for the Annual Conference. 

Having raised the general fund to $265, and the Sab- 
bath school and church having $775 in the treasury, he 
thought it a fitting time to leave the charge. So he 
asked Bishop Harris not to send him back another year. 
Just as his time expired at Wilmington, Bishop Moore 
asked him to take a transfer to the Western North Caro- 
lina Conference and to take charge of Clinton Chapel, 


Charlotte, N. C, which he did after prayerful meditation 
and consultation with Bishop Lomax and others. He 
came to the Conference at Hickory with his transfer, 
and received the appointment to Clinton Chapel. An at- 
tempt was made to take the church out of Zion, but the 
rebellious parties were met by Rev. Simmons at every 
point of civil or ecclesiastical law. Failing to take the 
church, their next move was to run the pastor away 
by misrepresentations and slander, but in this they also 

He has been the Annual Conference Steward for 
twelve years ; first in the Central Conference, then in 
the North Carolina and now Western North Carolina Con- 
ferences. He has been twice married ; his first wife was 
Miss Francis A. Pettifoot, of Fayetteville. His present 
wife was Miss Julia A. Covington, of Rockingham, both 
estimable Christian ladies. 


The subject of this sketch, Franklin Kesler Bird, was 
born December 1, 1856, at Rutherfordton, N. C. He was 
the only child of his father, William Bird, who died 
when young Franklin was two years of age. He and his 
mother, Mary Martha, lived with his grandfather, the 
"Blacksmith," Wylie Morris, until 1867, when his 
mother was married to Cain Gross. 

By early industry and economy Wylie Morris succeeded 
in purchasing his freedom for $2,000, and marrying a free- 
born woman. All of Franklin's relatives were freeborn, 
and strict members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South, until after the close of the war, when they con- 

3 o8 


nected themselves with the African Methodist Episcopal 
Zion Church, which remains the choice of the family. 
Young Franklin connected himself with the Church of 
which he is now a member at the age of eleven years, 
and soon afterward manifested much usefulness and de- 
votion. His stepfather being engaged yearly in a 
large farming business, in which Franklin was regularly 



employed, together with the meagre school system of his 
home section, deprived him of early school advantages, 
except one or two months occasionally in some private or 
public school. 

In 1869 his grandfather moved and settled at Newport, 
Tenn. In 1871, while visiting him, he was favored with 
one year's instruction in the high school of that place, 


under Professor William H. McGhee as instructor. On his 
return to his native home he had made sufficient advance- 
ment to obtain a third grade teacher's certificate, and 
taught his first school at Mykle's Chapel Schoolhouse, 
near his home. This was the small beginning of an 
eventful life of public usefulness. 

It was while teaching this small school that he grasped 
the opportunities of educating himself. He paid out of 
his income for private instruction to one Professor 
, a white teacher, at the rate of $2 for three recita- 
tions each week at night, on condition that he would 
never divulge his teacher's name. During this time he 
succeeded in completing his studies in arithmetic, gram- 
mar, geography, history, etc. He also cultivated his 
talent in vocal music, and while teaching the same his 
fame had reached Marion, N. C, from which place he 
received a call to the principalship of a large school, 
which gave him from five to six months' employment in 
each year. He remained at the head of this school for 
six years consecutively, during which time he found his 
way to Biddle University, Charlotte, N. C, where he 
spent four terms, paying for the same with the money 
he obtained by teaching. He professed faith in Christ 
June 24, 1874, served in every local official capacity in 
his church, was licensed to exhort July 4, 1876; received 
local preacher's license in November of the same year, 
and joined the North Carolina Annual Conference of the 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, at Salisbury, 
N. C, December 4, 1877. He took his first appointment 
in the following year at the hands of his Presiding 
Elder. Rev. S. S. Murdock, to a part of the Marion Cir- 


cuit. At the following Conference, Goldsboro, N. C, he 
was ordained deacon and appointed in charge of the 
entire circuit. This work was so enlarged that it became 
the work of two pastors at the end of his two years' ad- 
ministration. At Lincolnton, N. C, in 1879, when the 
North Carolina Conference was divided, and the Central 
and North Carolina Conferences formed, he was appointed 
to Wilson Station, in the North Carolina Conference. At 
the end of the year the property, which had been long 
involved in litigation, was redeemed, and the church 
doubled in membership. At Tarboro, N. C, 1880, he 
was ordained to the office of an elder and stationed at 
Concord, N. C, where he rendered efficient service to 
Bishop C. R. Harris, as business manager of the Star 
of Zion. On April 7, of this year, at Wilson, N. C, 
he was united by marriage to Miss Agnes M. Barnes, a 
student of St. Augustine Institute, Raleigh, N. C. 

During this year he also met President Mattoon, D.D., 
of Biddle University, with whom he arranged, and in the 
next year reentered the university, filling at the same 
time the pastorate at Biddleville Station. He remained in 
the university five terms, during which he completed 
the normal course and advanced rapidly in the classical 
course. He was considered by the faculty as being one 
of the brightest students in that institution. He is yet a 
student, and has mastered many of the studies most help- 
ful to him in his work by persistent effort and private 

In February, 1883, Bishop Hood secured his services 
by transfer, and stationed him at the African Methodist 
Episcopal Zion Church, Exchange Street, Worcester, 


Mass., where he rendered more than three years' success- 
ful service, to the general satisfaction of the people. He 
was then removed to the church, corner Broad and 
Gregory Streets, Bridgeport, Conn. Here he had a 
splendid financial success. At the end of two years, 
feeling that his services could be more effective in the 
Southern field, he transferred back to his native State, 
and has since filled with success the pastorates at St. Paul 
Station, Tarboro, N. C, Farmer's Temple, Washington, 
N. C, and St. James Station, at Goldsboro, N. C. He 
has filled the position of secretary in all of his Confer- 
ences, receiving all his ordinations under the adminis- 
tration of Bishop Hood, and has been in attendance upon 
the last three General Conferences, where he was an 
able representative of his Church and race. 

While at the General Conference at Pittsburg, Pa., 
May, 1892, he received notice from the President of 
Bethany College, at Lumberton, N. C, that the trustees 
of said institution had, without solicitation, conferred upon 
him the degree of Divinitatis Doctor. Upon refusing to 
accept their proffer he found on his arrival home the 
certificate awaiting him at the express office. At his 
Conference on December 6, 1892, he was unanimously 
elected to the position of presiding elder, as the result of 
a long-expressed desire upon the part of the ministers, 
and was appointed Presiding Elder of the Wilmington 
District of the North Carolina Conference, where he is 
doing a great work in building up and extending the 
borders of Zion. He is unassuming in public life, affable, 
congenial in disposition, self-sacrificing, and devoted to 

his calling in the ministry. 




This Conference was organized March 13, 1865, by 
Bishop J. J. Clinton. There were fifteen preachers 
present. This was the second Conference formed in 
the Southland and the last one formed before the close 
of the war. The work preparatory to its organization 
was superintended largely by Bishop Clinton in person. 
Soon after organizing the North Carolina Conference he 
went by sea to New Orleans, which, like New Berne, had 
been captured by the Federal forces. 

Among the Conferences laid out on paper at the Gen- 
eral Conference in 1864 was the Louisiana Conference. 
It was to embrace the States south of the North Carolina 
Conference. Starting at the James River one was to 
work southward, and starting at New Orleans the other 
was to work northward until they met. However wild 
this scheme may have seemed in 1864, when the Federal 
forces had only a foothold, so to speak, in North Carolina 
and in Louisiana, yet the men who fixed the boundaries 
of the Conferences, then in embryo, had faith in the success 
of the course of freedom, and their expectations have been 
quite fulfilled. They built more wisely than they knew. 

The Louisiana Conference itself has not met our ex- 
pectations. In 1 87 1, four years after the Alabama Con- 
ference had been set off, it reported 10,124 members; in 
1879 ^ reported only 1,680. We may suppose that the 
exodus had much to do with this large falling off ; but 
from the best information at hand we learn that we were 
unfortunate in some of the men employed in this field, 
while other denominations were more fortunate. 


While within the present bounds of the Louisiana Con- 
ference our expectations have not been fully realized, yet 
in that vast field included in the Louisiana Conference 
as laid out by the General Conference in 1864 the suc- 
cess has been only second to that of the work which 
started at New Berne, N. C, a little earlier in the same 
year. Five Conferences have been set off by the Loui- 
siana Conference, as follows : The Alabama, the Florida, 
the Georgia, the Texas, and the North Louisiana Con- 
ferences. Out of the Alabama Conference the West Ala- 
bama Conference has been formed, out of the Georgia 
the South Georgia, and out of the Florida the South 
Florida has been formed, making in all eight Confer- 
ences which have sprung from the Louisiana Conference. 


T. F. H. Blackman was born in Goldsboro, N. C, 
March 9, 1852. He received his early training in the 
Freedmen's School maintained at that place partly by 
Northern aid. He entered St. Augustine Normal School, 
at Raleigh, but failed to finish the course by reason of 
having to work to care for his father. He has finished 
the course in the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, 
also a course in Hebrew. He was baptized when about 
thirteen or fourteen years old ; was converted and taken 
into full connection May 30, 1869, at Wilson, N. C, 
where he was engaged in teaching school. He received 
a local preacher's license at Mosley Hall, March 4, 1871. 
He was received into the Annual Conference and ordained 
deacon at Lincolnton, N. C, December 1, 1871, and was 
ordained elder at Concord November 30, 1875. His first 


appointment was to the Evergreen Circuit, Brunswick 
County, N. C. ; here he served for two years. His next 
appointment was Mount Pleasant, Columbus County, for 
three years. He was then sent to Lincoln, where he 
remained for four years. During these nine years in 
the pastoral work he had uninterrupted success. He 
built up the church spiritually, improved the church 
property, and paid off debts. The church at Lincolnton 
has never since been in as good condition as it was when 
he had charge. In 1880 he was appointed Presiding 
Elder of the Statesville District, which position he filled 
with credit for one year, during which time he succeeded 
in establishing the church at Morganton, where we had 
long labored in vain to get a start. He then filled a mis- 
sionary appointment in South Carolina for one year in 
the interest of the church in Columbia, and raised ninety 
dollars above his salary and expenses. He then had a 
very successful year as pastor of the church at Lancaster, 
S. C. His seventh appointment was to Opelika, Ala. 
This was among his most pleasant charges, and he had 
very great success. 

From this point he was transferred to the Tennessee 
Conference and appointed to Chattanooga, where his 
usual success attended him ; he paid more than one thou- 
sand dollars on the debt. At the end of two years' serv- 
ice he was appointed to Maryville, Tenn. ; here he im- 
proved the church both spiritually and temporally, leav- 
ing it in excellent condition. He was then appointed to 
the Shiloh Circuit in Buncombe County, N. C. ; but Pre- 
siding Elder White, of the Bristol District, having re- 
signed, Rev. Blackman was appointed to fill the vacancy 


for the balance of the year. He filled that position to 
the great satisfaction of both bishop and pastors for two 
years. He is now serving the second year as Presiding 
Elder of the Asheville District. 

Brother Blackman has had a very quiet but successful 
ministry. While Presiding Elder of the Statesville Dis- 
trict he secured the first lot for a church in Winston. 
He has been a painstaking and industrious member of 
several General Conferences. He was married in 1881 
to Miss Lillian M. Carson, who has been a faithful help- 

REV. G. H. S. BELL. 

G. H. S. Bell was born in the town of St. George, in 
the islands of Bermuda, alias Somers Islands, the 16th 
of December, A. D. 1858. His father and mother, Inkle 
and Hannah Bell, were both formerly slaves in what 
was known as the British West Indies slavery, but were, 
by an act of the British Parliament, emancipated on the 
1st of August, 1834. His grandfather, Mr. Peter Her- 
bert, by his mother's side, was a freeman, and was the 
first appointed class leader in the Wesleyan Methodist 
Church or Society in Bermuda. This information was 
gained from the memoirs of Rev. John Marsden, the 
second appointed and officiating Wesleyan minister in 
that colony. 

From the age of six to fourteen years he was a strict 
attendant and ardent scholar in the parochial schools un- 
der white and colored teachers of no mean ability. At 
the age of fourteen he was apprenticed to a Mr. Thomas 
Worth to learn the tailoring business in the town of 
Hamilton, Bermuda. At the expiration of six years' ap- 


prenticeship, having finished the trade, he worked about 
two years as journeyman tailor, and served as parish 
constable at the same time. This position was occupied 
by him for the purpose of pulling down race prejudice* 
The first duty he was called to perform in this office by 
the mayor was to serve a warrant and arrest a mutinous 
crew of six stalwart seamen of an American schooner. 
Big Tom and his five followers very readily submitted to 
the little man and accompanied him to the jail. 

Ambition prompted the journeyman tailor to start into 
business for himself, which he did, and continued for 
about a year and a half. His great desire to study when 
a schoolboy never left him. It rather became greater, 
and all his leisure moments were applied in that direction. 
He often made a sacrifice of pleasure for the purpose of 
gaining knowledge. He was not designed to remain long 
as a master tailor, for the dean and rector of St. George's 
Parish urged the request to relinquish the trade and take 
charge of a government school in his diocese, which he 
accepted after passing examination. When he became 
established in this new calling he fully realized the bene- 
fit of continual studying. For fifteen years he continued 
in the capacity of a public teacher in his native home, 
when he resigned that position to enter into one of more 

About the year 1856 he came into possession of the- 
History of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion CJutrch, 
written by Bishop C. Rush. By it he became interested 
in the subject of colored churches and their ministry. 
Being always associated with an amalgamated church 
membership, he was not much acquainted with white and 


colored churches in the civilized world. This rekindled 
his childhood ambition to be a " preacher of the Gospel," 
but the opportunities were in the far distant and incon- 
ceivable. In 1868 an opportunity was offered by an Epis- 
copal clergyman to give instructions in such branches of 
a higher education as to qualify a candidate for examina- 
tion to ministerial orders ; the offer was readily embraced 
and pursued to the satisfaction of the preceptor. It was 
the wish of his educational benefactor that he should 
aspire to the Episcopal ministry. When he discovered 
three years later that Mr. Bell was connected with the 
Methodists, especially as a preacher, he became so indig- 
nant that he refused to recognize him on the streets ; he 
even caused the lord bishop of the dioceses to visit him 
with persuasions against being identified with the colored 
Methodist Society. All arguments failed in causing any 
change, as, seemingly, there was a divine ruling in the 
man who loved the welfare of his race. 

In the year 1870 the inhabitants of Bermuda — partic- 
ularly the colored — were considerably interested in the 
rumor that a colored bishop intended visiting their island 
home. Prompted by curiosity, on April 23, 1870, he ad- 
journed school for half a day to be one of the first to see 
a colored bishop, when, about 2 : 30 p. m., the New York 
mail steamer entered Hamilton harbor bearing the dis- 
tinguished guest, Bishop Willis Nazrey, of the British 
Methodist Episcopal Church of the Dominion of Canada. 
While numbered with the anxious lookers-on the voice of 
his father-in-law, Mr. James T. Butterfield, was heard 
directing him to look after the bishop's baggage. Deem- 
ing the request a proper one, he hastened to comply. 


Two days later a public meeting was convened in the 
spacious hall of the Odd Fellows' building, at which time 
this bishop delivered an address on the colored people of 
America and Bermuda. Mr. Bell attended this meeting 
as a curious spectator. When the exercises took the turn 
of a business form he was the choice for secretary pro tern ; 
but he was destined to go beyond that. From that night 
the greater part of his leisure time, especially nights, 
was devoted to traveling and speaking in the interest of 
the hew church society. In the year 1872 he was granted 
local preacher's license, and on the 18th of May, 1873, 
was ordained to the order of a deacon in the British 
Methodist Episcopal Church and in the first Bermuda 
Annual Conference by Bishop W. Nazrey. He con- 
tinued to follow teaching school, visiting his charges on 
Sundays and once during the week days. As no clergy- 
man in Bermuda at that time was allowed to exercise 
all the functions of his office without permission from 
the governor and council, who had first to approve of 
credentials and qualifications, he was approved and 
licensed January 24, 1876. At the General Conference of 
the Bermuda Methodist Episcopal Church which met in 
St. Catharine's, Ont., in September of the same year, he 
was on the 17th day ordained to elders' orders. He 
returned to Bermuda and pursued his usual avocations 
till July, 1 877, when he was transferred to the Nova Scotia 
Conference and assigned to the church at Liverpool, where 
he remained for two years. He also taught a govern- 
ment school during his pastorate. When about to 
leave the superintendent of schools offered him a room 
in the academy if he would remain. The offer was 


tempting, but not enough to induce him to forsake what 
he considered God's call to the ministry. His next 
charge was at St. John's, N. B. His entrance to that 
city was by no means encouraging. The people had 
become dissatisfied and discouraged on account of some 
misdemeanors of former pastors, and did not want to 
"have any more ministers." For nine hours he and his 
wife walked the streets of that city looking for a place to 
stop or a home. The Sunday following his arrival there 
he held service, and the people subscribed largely to his 
support. He fared sumptuously all that year, leaving 
with the heartfelt regrets of many. 

During his stay in St. John's he decided to carry out 
the wishes of earlier days, and that was to spend a few 
years in the United States. Learning what time the 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion and African Methodist 
Episcopal Bethel Conferences would meet, he proposed to 
visit them both, and the one that pleased the better he 
would try to join. Consequently, in April, 1880, he came 
to America and visited the African Methodist Episcopal 
Zion Conference in the city of New Haven, Conn., where, 
from the affable disposition and gentlemanly manner of 
Bishop J.J.Moore, D.D., and the members of that Confer- 
ence, he decided to make application for membership. 
Being still connected with his Nova Scotia Conference, and 
having no recommendation, only credentials of ordina- 
tion, the Conference determined he should fill an appoint- 
ment before it took any action pro or con. The next 
day, after complying with the Conference's request, he was 
unanimously accepted and appointed to Cambridgeport, 
Mass. As Secretary of the Nova Scotia Conference he 


had to return there and deliver up their books. At the 
time he went to Cambridgeport Zion was numerically 
small and influentially weak. God in his divine power 
visited Zion there in 1882 with a great revival spirit, when 
a large number professed conversion to God. From that 
time little Rush Zion began to take her stand, not among 
the nations of the earth, but among the churches of cities. 
The interest of the work had so much increased that all 
floating debts were met, and by the time for the sitting 
of the Annual Conference in 1884 over one hundred 
dollars had been banked toward the purchase of land for 
building purposes. In 1884 he was appointed to the 
charge at Hartford, Conn., where he remained three years. 
He served the church at Middletown Conn., two years 
and from there he went to Worcester, Mass., remaining 
in the pastorate three years. His next appointment was 
at Waterbury, Conn. 

In 1 88 1 he was elected Assistant Secretary for 'the 
Annual Conference, and in 1882 was elected Secretary of 
the Annual Conference, and served in that capacity till 
1884, when he was appointed and elected Conference 
steward and was made a member of the General Confer- 
ence, which sat in New York city that same year. He is 
now serving his ninth year and third appointment to that 
responsible office. He was also a member of the General 
Conference of 1888, at New Berne, N. C, and 1892 at 
Pittsburg, Pa. He has been connected with the Local 
Mission Board of the New England Annual Conference 
for ten years, serving in the capacity of secretary all but 
one year, when he was president. 

Brother Bell is a man of high Christian character and 


greatly beloved by his people. During the long period 
that he has held the position of Conference steward his 
accounts have been well kept, and not a cent has gone 
astray, and the expense of running the office has been 
exceptionally and surprisingly small. We venture the 
assertion that no living man is more straightforward or 
trusty in his dealings. 


General Secretary of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion 


William Howard Day was born in New York city, 
October 16, 1831. His father, John Day, was a sail- 
maker. He died from an accident when the subject of 
this sketch was only three years of age. Mrs. Eliza 
Day {ne'e Dixon), his mother, became both father and 
mother. Being the youngest of the family, this boy and 
his mother seemed almost inseparable. The mother was 
originally a member of John Street Church, the mother 
church of Methodism in America. To this place she 
often led her boy. They continued attendants here 
and at mother Zion, New York, until circumstances 
seemed to justify her in becoming a regular member 
of Zion, the mother church of African Methodism. 
Long previous to this, however, Zion was the center- 
post of her religious life, and the two younger of the 
four children of the family were transferred with the 
mother, and became regular members of the mother Zion 
Sunday school. Long previous to this, too, as early as 
1825, this home became the visiting home of Zion's 
pioneer ministers. Right Rev. James Varick, the first 


superintendent, baptized William Howard Day. Right 
Rev. Christopher Rush, Rev. Timothy Eato, Right Rev. 
William Haywood Bishop, Right Rev. James Simmons, 
Right Rev. George Galbreth, Rev. Dempsey Kennedy, 
Rev. Edward Matthews, Rev. Jehiel C. Beman, Right 
Rev. Joseph P. Thompson, Rev. Jacob Thomas, Rev. 
John Dungy, Rev. J. P. Thompson, 2d, Rev. Joseph 
Hicks, Rev. Father Van Hass, Rev. Daniel Vandeveer, 
Rev. Charles Gardner, Rev. Jacob D. Richardson, and a 
host of others, bishops, pastors, and laymen, were often 
visitors and always welcome guests. Prayer meetings 
and class meetings were often held here, and the presence 
of the God of Israel was manifested in power. The sub- 
ject of this sketch was brought up in the midst of such 
influences. No wonder that he was called early to con- 
sider his ways and to seek the Lord. Any boy with such 
a mother is rich indeed. Whe.n about four years of age 
" William Howard," as his mother always familiarly 
called him, was sent to an infant school on White Street, 
under the charge of Mr. Levi Folsom and mother and 
sister, and at six years of age, we are told, William could 
read anywhere in the Bible. He has a book presented 
by the noted member of the Society of Friends, or 
Quakers, Mr*. Murray, as a premium for reading in a 
competitive contest in that school. Later on he was sent 
to Public School No. 2, on what was then Laurens 
Street, but now South Fifth Avenue, under the princi- 
palship of Mr. Ransom F. Wake, and later on was sent 
to the private school on West Broadway under the charge 
of Rev. Frederick Janes, of Massachusetts. Here the 
distinguished chemist and philanthropist, John Payson 


Williston, came to pay a visit to Rev. Janes and his 
school. As a result of the examinations and exhibition 
Mr. Williston made a present in money to this boy, and 
in two weeks called upon his mother to ask that he might 
be allowed to take him to Northampton, Mass., and 
adopt him as almost his son. The mother, recognizing 
this as a call from God, with tears said, " Yes," and in 
two weeks more Honorable Samuel Williston, of East 
Hampton, Mass., the founder of Williston Seminary, 
came to take charge of the boy on his (then) long journey. 
The mother accompanied him as far as Hartford, Conn. 

It would occupy too much space to detail his sub- 
sequent history. Suffice to say he encountered fearful 
prejudices from the outside world in his new relationship ; 
but, with some perseverance and a faithful and just 
guardian behind him, and with a faithful teacher, Rev. 
Rudolphus B. Hubbard, he entered the high school and 
won recognition of merit. Here he prepared for college, 
presumably for Williams College, where went several of 
his classmates, notable among them the young man who 
is now William D wight Whitney, Professor of Sanskrit, 
etc., in Yale College; but the hydra-headed prejudice of 
the United States said, " No! " 

In the meantime William Howard had learned the 
printing business, newspaper, job, and book work, and 
he found at Oberlin, O., not only a course of study equal 
in every way to that of Yale or Williams, but, to his sur- 
prise, a printing office, from which his color did not 
debar him, and where he could pay nearly all his bills 
during college by setting type. Thus the hand of God 
seemed to lead him and point the way. Reading in the 


National Cyclopedia of American Biography, a few days 
since, we find it speaks, of William Howard Day as 
"graduating, one of the leaders of his class." Before 
going to Oberlin, under the devoted philanthropist and 
Christian who was his guardian, and under the personal 
effort of Rev. Charles Stewart Renshaw, Evangelist, Wil- 
liam Howard gave himself to God ; but after reaching 
Oberlin he received the blessing which confirmed him and 
gave him the assurance of faith. He then united with 
the college church, to which nearly all the students, while 
in school, of every evangelical belief, were attached, but 
did not then feel, in view of the wrongs to be combated, 
that he ought to go into the ministry. Therefore he 
devoted himself to the lecture platform, and traveled 
almost everywhere in the defense of the colored citi- 
zens. He readily accepted the invitation of Rev. 
William King (the Clayton of Mrs. Stowe's work, Bred) 
to go to England, Ireland, and Scotland, to secure the 
means to erect a church and four schoolhouses in the 
Elgin settlement at Buxton, in Canada, which Horace 
Greeley declared was the ' ' greatest problem in social sci- 
ence that had been wrought out on this continent." Rev. 
King and Professor Day raised £y,ooo, or $35,000, for 
the purpose. During his absence in England he was 
more directly called to the pulpit, and occupied a large 
portion of three years in preaching, acting for months as 
stated pastor of a congregation in England, composed of 
English people. Upon his return, while serving Zion as 
editor of the Zion s Standard and Weekly Review, he was 
received by letter into full membership of John Wesley 
Zion Church, Washington, Rev. Singleton T. Jones 


pastor, and soon after, at Petersburg, Va., at the estab- 
lishment of the Virginia Conference, was ordained deacon 
and elder by Right Rev. Joseph J. Clinton. This was in 
1866. He has held the pastorate and has been offered 
some influential churches, but preferring missionary and 
educational work he has usually been assigned thereto. 
Soon after his ordination he was, as it were, loaned 
from the Virginia to the Philadelphia and Baltimore 
Conference, and up to 1886 or 1887 retained that rela- 
tionship, meeting the Virginia Conference when able, 
but being usually represented by letter. This arrange- 
ment was not entirely of his seeking, but was provi- 

Intending to cast in his lot with his brethren in the 
South, and to remain in the Virginia Conference, soon 
after he was ordained he bade farewell to his editorial 
work in New York, left relatives and friends behind, and 
started for his Southern field of labor. At Baltimore, 
Md., he took occasion to call to pay his respects to Gen- 
eral E. M. Gregory, an old friend in the order of the 
Sons of Temperance, who had been appointed by Major 
General O. O. Howard Assistant Commissioner of the 
Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands. 
He explained to the general whither he was going, and to 
his surprise was informed by the general that he had 
telegraphed that morning to him in New York to be- 
come Superintendent of Schools for the District of Mary- 
land and Delaware. Professor Day demurred, the gen- 
eral talked of Day's being under martial law and obliged 
to acquiesce, which for some time he would not do, 5s 
he was intent upon going further. But the opening was 


really in the South, he would be the only colored citizen 
a superintendent of schools ; and it looked like a provi- 
dence, as Day had had nothing whatever to do with the 
matter and knew nothing of it until his visit to the gen- 
eral. At last Professor Day, after filling some engage- 
ments previously made, came back and had charge of 140 
schools, 160 teachers, and 7,000 children. At the close 
of his service Major General O. O. Howard wrote of 
him, " One of my excellent superintendents of schools." 
Professor Day's relationship was, on motion, favorably 
referred to by the General Conference of 1868, when he 
introduced Major General O. O. Howard to that body. 

In 1876, at Louisville, Ky., the General Conference 
elected him general secretary ; after an interval of twelve 
years he was again elected by the General Conference at 
New Berne, N. C, and in 1892 again reelected by the 
General Conference which met in Pittsburg, Pa. He is 
also Secretary of the General Board of Home and Foreign 
Missions, composed of the Board of Bishops, and in his 
own Philadelphia and Baltimore Conference has been 
presiding elder and is now general missionary, intel- 
lectual instructor, supervisor of missions, and general 
home and foreign agent for educational and missionary 
purposes. He received the degrees of A.B. and A.M. 
from Oberlin, his alma mater, and the degree of D.D. 
from Livingstone. Besides filling other important posts 
he has been twice unanimously elected the President of 
the Harrisburg, Pa., Board of School Control, and is still 
an influential member of that important body. He is 
the only colored citizen in that organization of twenty- 
five members. With all his other labors he is engaged 


in assisting other brethren of the churches in preaching 
the Gospel at camp meetings and special revival services. 
Assisted by the Masonic fraternity he laid the corner 
stone of the Zion Church at Mechanicsburg, Pa., and in 
1890 assisted Bishop Thompson in laying the corner 
stone and dedicating the Zion Church at Saratoga Springs, 
N. Y., and in laying the corner stone of the Thompson 
Zion Church at Auburn, N. Y. Two years previous he 
assisted Rev. B. F. Wheeler, B.D., in laying the corner 
stone of his new Zion Church in Somerville, N. J. 

Professor W. Howard Day is one of the best orators of 
the race, and if his scholarly attainments are taken into 
consideration he has no superior. The fact that he has 
held for several years the chairmanship of the Board of 
Education of the city and county of Harrisburg, Pa., he 
being the only colored member of the board, is certainly 
remarkable. No other colored man has held such posi- 
tion under like circumstances. As to his ability to keep 
books he takes foremost rank among the men of our race. 
As a preacher he is sound in theology, logical and elo- 
quent. He has great respect for those who have author- 
ity over him, whether his equals intellectually or not. 

This Conference was organized June 6, 1866, by Bishop 
Sampson D. Talbot, at 4 P. m., in Center Street Church, 
Louisville, Ky. The following ministers and preachers 
were present: Rev. William F. Butler, Samuel Elliott, 
Leroy Brannon, R. Bridwell, Anthony Bunch, R. Mar- 
shall, William H. Miles, William Koger, E. H. Curry, 
Peter McCormick, Henderson First, Henry Huges, David 



Cole, Henry Brown, Douglas Coward, Thomas Henry, 
Cicero Hazlewood, Samuel Sherman, William Corneil, 
Lewis Arnold, and Charles Rodman. Besides the mem- 
bers the following distinguished persons were present, 
namely: Bishop J. J. Clinton, Rev. J. A. Jones, of the 
Philadelphia Conference ; Rev. S. T. Jones, of the New 
York Conference; Rev. J. W. Loguen, of the Genesee 
Conference; and Rev. J. J. Whiting, James Armstrong, 
and J. Bowman, of the Allegheny Conference. 

No such body of distinguished colored men had ever 
before met in Louisville ; a very fine impression was made, 
and no Conference ever started off with better promise. 
At this first session 1,841 members were reported. Dur- 
ing the first year after the formation the increase was 
most encouraging. The membership reported at the 
second Conference was 3,253. But an unfortunate matter 
at the third session of the Conference created schism, 
which, together with some troubles in Tennessee and 
Georgia, resulted in the formation of the Colored Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church. 

Rev. William F. Butler was a man of decided ability, 
but not well balanced. He did things sometimes to vex 
regardless of consequences. Sometimes no serious harm 
results from such conduct, but it is a kind of sport that 
seldom pays. He knew that Rev. W. H. Miles was some- 
what ambitious, and he pretended to boom him for bishop 
in 1868. It is not likely that Miles would have thought 
of it if Butler had not made him believe that his chances 
were good. He seemed as happy, loyal, and true as any 
delegate there. But when the election took place and he 
was not mentioned he felt that he had been fooled. 


The following, kindly furnished by Rev. E. H. Curry, 
will give a clearer view of the conflicts and trials through 
which this Conference has passed. 



"The Kentucky Annual Conference was organized June 6, 1866, in Cen- 
ter Street Church, in the city of Louisville and State of Kentucky, by Right 
Rev. Sampson Talbot, General Superintendent of the African Methodist 
Episcopal Zion Connection, assisted by Superintendent Joseph J. Clinton. 
The membership of the Conference was made up of men of no experience 
in the itinerant work, and without a knowledge of the polity of the Church. 
They were sent to their appointments in many places without a church edi- 
fice, nay, without any members ; nevertheless they went trusting in God for 
success. The superintendent left and was seen no more until the next 
Annual Conference, and the only guides left to instruct the Conference 
were Rev. W. F. Butler and Rev. W. H. Miles. The latter was ap- 
pointed general missionary and supported from Center Street Church by 
the Daughters of Conference, or at least in part. 

" At the reassembling of the second Annual Conference William Hay- 
wood Bishop, general superintendent, presided. Rev. W. F. Butler was 
removed from Center Street Church and succeeded by Rev. W. H. Miles. 
Hence some feeling of unpleasantness sprangup between those two divines. 
The superintendent, however, left again, to be seen no more until the sit- 
ting of the third Annual Conference, at which Rev. J. W. Loguen, general 
superintendent, presided. Then began the scene of trouble in the Confer- 
ence, and the Rev. W. H. Miles tendered his resignation, which was finally 
received. This created quite a feeling,' and many of the leading men of 
the higher rank left, until the Conference was left with only seven elders all 
told, and many of the churches followed in rapid succession ; yet there were 
a few who dared to hold on to Zion, and continued to struggle against all 
opposition. Rev. Richard Bridwell, Samuel Elliott, Rev. A. Bunch, Samuel 
Shurman, Leroy Brannon, J. B. Stansbury, William T. Biddle, with one 
other man, were all the elders left in the Kentucky Conference. One year 
later showed a gradual decline in both churches and communicants. This 
rigor in the Conference discouraged both members and ministers, and all 
the more because the ministers being returned to their former charges it 
was easy for them to confuse the minds of the people by trying to carry 
them into the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, and that by the same 
men who led them into the Zion Connection at a date still fresh in their 

" One year later reports showed the following churches lost : Falmouth, 


Ky.; Millersburg, Ky.; Carrollton, Ky.; Flemingsburg, Ky.; Owensville, Ky.; 
Glasgow, Ky. ; Sharpsburg, Ky. ; Elton, Ky. ; Frankford, Ky. ; Burksville, 
Ky. ; Greenburg, Ky. ; wit'h Center Street Church, of Louisville, Ky. But 
there were a faithful few who still stood up for Zion. 

" The next event worthy of special mention was the appointment of 
Right Rev. S. T. Jones, D.D., to the Third Episcopal District, which gave 
new life and impulse to the Kentucky Conference. The work settled to a 
firmer base during the twelve consecutive years of his administration, not- 
withstanding there was some dissatisfaction in the Board of Bishops and 
among leading men about organic union with the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, and the Conference being told by those in authority that the 
union would be consummated in the near future it was hard for them 
to tell what they were. This had much to do in shaking their faith in 
the firmness and stability of Zion Connection. But the fight ended, and 
the faithful few were seen doing what they could to build up Zion. The 
Kentucky Conference carried the standard of Zion into Indiana, Illinois, 
and Missouri, and organized the Arkansas and the Missouri Annual 

Rev. Y. Carr was the first man to raise the standard 
of Zion in Arkansas, and was succeeded by Rev. A. J. 
Warner, and he by Rev. J. M. Washington. The Con- 
ference was organized, however, under the administration 
of Rev. A. J. Warner, with seven members, by Bishop 
S. T. Jones, D.D., but under Rev. J. M. Washington the 
work increased very fast. The above named elders were 
the pioneers in the work. The Missouri Conference 
was also set off by the Kentucky Conference and organ- 
ized by Bishop T. H. Lomax, D.D., in the town of Green- 
ville and State of Kentucky. 

It has been the pleasure of the Kentucky Conference to 
have the following named bishops to preside over her de- 
liberations : Right Rev. Sampson D. Talbot, Right Rev. 
W. William Haywood Bishop, Right Rev. J. W. Loguen, 
Right Rev. S. T. Jones, D.D., Right Rev. William H. Hil-' 
lery, Right Rev. J. W. Hood, D.D., Right Rev. T. H. 
Lomax, D.D., and last, but not least, Right Rev. Alex- 


ander Walters, D.D., all of whom we regard as men of 
ability in their high office. 

This has been called the Brick Church Conference, on 
account of the large number of brick edifices within its 
borders. It has a number of very promising young men. 
It has shown commendable interest in the educational 
work, and has established a high school at Madisonville, 
which, under the supervision of Rev. G. B. Walker, is do- 
ing good work. This Conference has two offsprings, the 
Arkansas and the Missouri Conferences. It has furnished 
one bishop in the person of Right Rev. A. Walters, D.D. 
He is not only the peculiar product of the Kentucky Con- 
ference, but is also a native Kentuckian. The roll of 
members is as follows : 

Bishop, Right Rev. Alexander Walters, D.D. 

Presiding Elders, J. B. Johnson, E. H. Curry, D.D. 

Elders, J. M. Washington, H. tampbell, A. R. Jack- 
son, W. A. Walker, W. T. Hays, M. W. Steward, James 
H. McMullen, A. Nichols, J. W. Rice, J. J. Moore, J. R. 
Irvin, G. B. Walker, I. W. Selectman, R. T. Anderson, 
W. W. Dorsey, S. Young, C. R. Lennox, J. H. Gough, 
S. B. Jones, B. Lynch, W. A. Forman, J. R. Ealy, W.H. 
Tucker, J. J. Kennedy, D. L. Irvin, N. L. Slaughter, J. 
H. Morton, G. R. Edmondson, J. H. Barner, R. L. 

Deacons, Robert McGuire, J. Freeman, N. R. Morgan, 
J. F. Thomas, L. N. Scott, Willis Adams, J. H. McElroy, 
S. J. Clemens, R. B. Orndorf, M. F. Gatewood, Amos 
Howard, J. M. Hurt, D. H. Jones, S. Gatewood. 

Preachers, I. B. Walters, R. Devine, T. H. Hutchin- 
son, J. A. Jones, J. Moore. 




James Bartlett Johnson was born a slave in Taylor 
County, Ky., about March, 1830. Like most slaves he 
does not know the exact date of his birth. He was 
reared by a Christian mother, and at the age of eighteen 
years was converted and joined the Church. From his 


conversion, he says, "I felt the call to preach, but not 
knowing how to read I did not answer my call for ten 
years. I bought a spelling book and carried the same in 
my pocket until I learned to spell, and then I soon learned 
to read. I commenced the reading and studying of the 
Bible, which was continued for eight years before I tried 
to preach." In January, 1853, Elder Johnson married 


Miss Mary A. Buchanan, of the same State and county in 
which he was born and reared. She was given her free- 
dom when but three years of age, in accordance with the 
will of her mistress. On February. 22, 1856, they were 
separated ■ by the young husband being sold to a slave 
trader who carried him to Louisiana. " There," he says, 
" I preached my first sermon, in 1858, though I was 
not allowed to claim that I was even a Christian ; I or- 
ganized my first church, had a revival, many souls were 
converted, and God stood between me and the whites, who 
threatened to whip me if I preached to black people on 
the plantation." In 1861 the war broke out, and in 1862 
he enlisted in the Union army, serving three years and 
preaching during the time. A second church was organ- 
ized, known as the Regimental Church. On December 
24, 1865, at the close of the war, he returned to Ken- 
tucky and found his wife and child, from whom he 
had been nine years and nine months. The family 
was moved to Louisville, Ky. "Here," he says, "I 
joined the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church 
and tried to hide the fact that I was a preacher. How- 
ever, I could not remain hid, and joined the Conference 
July 1, 1867. For nearly twenty-six years I've been 
a member of the Conference and steadily in the ser- 
vice of the Church." Mr. Johnson was ordained a deacon 
by Bishop W. Haywood Bishop, in Center Street Church, 
Louisville, July, 1867. His first appointment was to Spring- 
field, Ky., where he found only twenty-four members 
and no Church property at all ; in fact, at this time Zion 
had no property in Kentucky. The first of his three 
years' stay on this circuit he received $166 in salary, and 


in two revivals added sixty members to the Springfield 
Church. Another church was organized, known as the 
Mount Zion Church, with twenty members. Bishop 
Loguen ordained him elder in 1868. About this time a 
split was made in the church, and especially at Lebanon, 
Ky., was the split so serious, being occasioned by Elder 
Miles (the late Bishop Miles, of the Colored Methodist 
Episcopal Church), that the church was burned, and, the 
members being scattered, the Conference combined 
Springfield and Lebanon into a circuit under Elder John- 
son. The church and congregation were subsequently re- 
stored, and both are now stations. His next appoint- 
ment was Russellville, Ky., where he served from 1870 to 
1872, holding several revivals, resulting in many addi- 
tions to the church and raising money for the erection of 
a new brick church. 

A return of four years to Springfield secured for that 
congregation a new church and ground costing $3,300. 
In 1876 it was found necessary to send him to Greenville, 
Ky., because the church was not finished and the con- 
gregation was split. The labors of one Conference year 
finished the church and united the people, ready for the 
reception of the Conference, August, 1877. From there 
in 1877 h- e went to New Albany, Ind., served one year, 
paid off many debts, added many members to the church, 
and in 1878 was appointed to the church in Indianapolis, 
where he found that the property had been sold. The 
property was secured again, and after another year's 
work he took charge of Twelfth Street Church, in Louis- 
ville. A heavy debt was hanging over this church and 
several notes were paid off. Money was also deposited 


in bank for the payment of the next note, when he was 
appointed, in 1880, to the Jacob Street Tabernacle. Two 
years were spent here with as many revivals and large 
additions to the church. Returning in 1882 to Twelfth 
Street, he resumed his task of paying off the indebted- 
ness and in the meantime renovated and beautified the 
church at a cost of four hundred dollars. In 1883, with 
but little prospect of success, he was sent to Bardstown : 
from there in 1 884 to Springfield for two years more, build- 
ing one church at Pleasant Run and buying lumber for 
another at Beachland. Then, in 1886, he was made pre- 
siding elder under Bishop Hood and given charge of the 
Second District. He was on this district six years, and 
now has charge of the First District. For sixteen years 
he has been the steward of the Kentucky Annual Con- 
ference. He has been honored four times as a delegate 
to the General Conference. First, in 1872, he went to 
New York city, where the lamented Bishop S. T. Jones, 
D.D., attempted to hold the General Conference at the 
usual time, but he was not able to do so because the 
majority of the bishops had voted to hold it at Charlotte, 
N. C, about a month later. 

The next he attended was in New York, in 1884, New 
Berne, N. C, 1888, and Pittsburg, Pa., in 1892. His 
life and Christian character have won for him the esteem 
of everyone, and in the Kentucky Conference no man is 
more respected. 

Seven children have been born during the happy union, 
covering now a period of over thirty years. Of this num- 
ber only two reached their majority ; the oldest, Mrs. 
Nannie J. Demby, died July 27, 1877, leaving a husband 


and two children. Benjamin A. Johnson, now a young 
man of twenty-five years of age, is the only child living, 
and is one of the instructors in Livingstone College, from 
which institution he graduated in 1 890, receiving the de- 
gree of A.B. 


The following sketch of the Tennessee Conference is 
furnished by Rev. W. H. Ferguson : 

" The Tennessee Conference was organized at Knoxville, Tenn., October 
6, 1868, by Bishop J. J. Clinton. The first two annual sessions were held 
in the above named city. Elder J. W. Loguen, who was afterward made 
bishop, organized the first African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in 
the State at Knoxville. 

" Rev. Alfred E. Anderson, A. B. Kline, H. Debose, Henry Rowley, J. A. 
Tyler, John Dogan, T. A. Hopkins, W. H. Hilliary, and others were among 
the founders. Bishop Clinton held four annual sessions. During his 
episcopal stay the work increased very rapidly. More than six thousand 
members were added in the period mentioned above. East Tennessee, 
Western North Carolina, or that part of it west of the Blue Ridge, North- 
ern Georgia, and Southwestern Virginia were well organized. 

"When Bishop S. D. Talbot took charge of the district in 1870 the 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church was the most influential Church 
in all the territory named above. There was no opposition to our onward 
march. During Bishop Talbot's administration hundreds were added to 
the Church. The bishop added, comparatively speaking, a new set of 
ministers to the Conference. Many of the original members had trans- 
ferred, and some had joined other denominations that had been created. 

" Rev. James A. Zachary, Robert R. Russell, Thomas Warren, Joseph 
Pugh, J. P. Jay, Henry Tipton, John N. Brown, D. W. Wells, W. H. 
Ferguson, and James D. Rogers were among those who composed the 
Conference when Bishop S. T. Jones took charge in the fall of 1872. 
It is fair to say when he came to the district it was in its most flour- 
ishing state. He presided over the Conference for ten years. During 
this period numbers were added to the Church, and many of them 
drifted away into other denominations that offered better facilities for edu- 
cating them than our beloved Zion at that time could afford. Several 
efforts were made during the ten years to establish a high school, but all 
failed. The Presbyterian and Methodist Episcopal Churches are princi- 


pally made up in East Tennessee of members from our Church. This is 
not generally known outside of the territory referred to. 

" For fifteen years our Church had undisturbed reign in East Tennessee. 
Since that time we have only managed to hold our own. Bishop W. H. 
Hilliary held one annual session of the Conference, and added nothing 
materially to the Conference ; if anything, he imbued a few of the ministers 
with an indifferent spirit about the growth of the Church. Bishop J. P. 
Thompson held one session. He was loved and respected by a majority 
of the ministers. 

" There was no advancement during these two years in the sural dis- 
tricts. The larger towns and cities held their own. When Bishop J. W. 
Hood, D.D., came to the district he found the work in a dormant state. 
This was not without cause. Rev. D. W. Wells, with over six hundred 
members, had rebelled and gone out of the connection at Knoxville. The 
Conference has never completely recovered from the shock. Several 
small charges followed in the wake of the Knoxville rebellion. Bishop 
Hood, however, was not discouraged. Feeling that he was equal to the situ- 
ation, he went to work, and in less than six months had the entire district in 
a growing condition. He won the confidence of both clergy and laity. 
The waste places of Zion began to rebuild, and in two years' time the mem- 
bership nearly doubled itself, new churches sprang up, and confidence was 
once more established on the part of the people. 

" Bishop T. H. Lomax, D.D., the present incumbent, has had charge of 
the work five years up to date. The Conference has had a steadygrowth. 
The General Fund has more than doubled itself. Good churches have 
been erected throughout the bounds of the Conference. The Greenville 
High School has been made a fixture. It has over one hundred regular 
pupils in daily attendance, with three teachers. R. E. Toomey, A.M., is 
principal. Rev. B. M. Gudger, now one of the most prominent ministers 
in the connection, was the originator of this school. The property is 
worth ten thousand dollars. 

" The Weekly Watchman, a Conference journal issued weekly by the 
Conference, is the most promising sheet in the connection aside from 
the Star of Zion. It was founded January 1, 1891, by Rev. W. H. Fer- 
guson, A.M., at Athens, Tenn. The paper has had much to do in form- 
ing and molding public sentiment in favor of our Church. It was through 
its columns the donation that opened the Greenville High School was ob- 
tained. The office is worth eight hundred dollars. The Tennessee Confer- 
ence represents one hundred thousand dollars' worth of Church and school 
property. The Conference was divided in 1892. Among the more active men 
we would mention B. M. Gudger, T. J. Manson, F. M. Jacobs, A. S. Mon- 
roe, J. W. Wright, J. H. Manley, D.D., W. H. Ferguson, A.M., J. H. Star- 
ling, M. M. Montgomery, George W. Christmas, E. J. Harris, B. J. Arnold, 


L. S. Baker, T. F. H. Blackman, F. R. White, H. Bayless, A. G. Kesler, H. 
B. Moss, A. L. Cowan, B. F. Tipton, J. T. Gaskill, D. B. Branner, F. A. 
Mouldin, William Walton, J. D. Rodgers, and M. M. Morris. 
" The Conference bids fair to be one among the strongest." 

The following is the roll of members of the Tennessee 
Conference : 

Bishop, Right Rev. T. H. Lomax, D.D. 

Presiding Elders, T. F. H. Blackman, F. R. White, M. 
M. Montgomery, H. Bayless, A. G. Kesler, T. J. Manson. 

Elders, F. M. Jacobs, A.B., L. S. Baker, A. J. Jones, 
J. E. Kilgore, N. N. Norris, F. A. Mouldin, J. H. Star- 
ling, A. L. Cowan, James T. Gaskill, J. H. Manley, 
Jordan Alexander, J. J. Allen, George Christmas, E. J. 
Harris, H. B. Moss, E. J. Carter, A. S. Monroe, J. A. 
Bowerman, J. J. Kelly, M. M. Morris, George Brazleton, 
J. D. Rodgers, William Walton, B. F. Tipton, J. W. 
Wright, William P. Mouldin, Thomas Taylor, B. J. 
Arnold, W. F. Fenderson, D. J. Young, C. C. Snowden, 
T. H. Braxton, George W. Hampton. 

Deacons, R. R. Mouldin, W. H. Frazier, D. D. Goode, 
P. Moore, H. S. Brown, B. H. Stanford, S. T. Davis, J. 
L. Matthews, J. M. Barnes, G. P. Barnes, Lewis Donald- 
son, B. B. Brown, J. L. McDonald, D. C. Calaway, D. S. 
Howard, G. W. James, B. F. Johnson, W. C. Vanhook, 
E. H. Henry, A. B. Morrow, A. S. Henry, D. B. Bran- 
ner, Joseph Wilson, William Johnson, F. M. Jordan, 
Gilbert Smith, J. D. Gaither, J. P. Pitlet, E. D. Brooks, 
R. Gaither. 

Preachers in Full Connection, J. M. Connell, G. W. Wash- 
ington, C. H. Madison, J. M. Barnes, Claiborne Henry, 
Josie Mayes, George Shields. 


Preachers on Trial, B. F. Felder, H. Flouse, A. F. 
Wear, T. B. Hackett, J. F. Houston, William Anderson, 
C. B. Tate, R. D. Chandler, L. J. Lee, William Lyons, 
A. B. Rorex. 


Presiding Elder of the Knoxville District of the East Ten- 
nessee, Virginia, and North Carolina Conference. 

The subject of this sketch was born in Roan County, 
ten miles east of Salisbury, in the State of North Caro- 
lina, December 28, 1842. When but a child he was sold, 
and thus he, as was the usage of the time, took the name 
of his second owner. 

In 1857 he became earnestly awakened as to the needs 
of the soul. He was convinced through the preaching 
of Rev. Mr. Barrett, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South. In 1858 he connected himself with the Providence 
Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He began to learn 
the alphabet at the age of six or seven years. So desirous of 
an education was he that in some peculiar way he secured 
a tutor and. attended night school. This was in opposi- 
tion to the customs of the times, but like many others, he 
secured for himself a knowledge of the common branches 
of an English education. This composed the scholastic 
life of this successful minister, determined church builder, 
and successful Gospel preacher. His education amply 
prepared him for the work he expected to enter when a 
child and has so ably prosecuted since matured to man- 
hood. He has shown himself a minister approved of 
God. He makes no pretensions to great learning, but 
is an ardent friend of higher education for the race, 
and especially for the Negro ministry. He evidenced 



this in later years by contributing with, willingness to 
the support of Rev. J. C. Price while attending college, 
and since his graduation and presidency of Livingstone 
College he has endeavored to prove himself the friend 
that he was to that institution by a hearty response to every 
call made upon him for the advancement of its interests 


and permanent establishment. He was married to Miss 
Sarah Winslow, of Beaufort, N. C, in 1863. She was a 
helpmeet indeed. But God saw fit to remove her from 
the world — from labor to reward — in 1877. He was again 
married, in 1885, to Mrs. N. A. Spriggs, of New Berne, 
N. C, July 25. 


The first knowledge Brother Kesler got of the Zion 
Society was at the time of its organization at Salisbury, 
N. C, in the fall of 1865, by Rev. William H. Pitts. 
Before this organization he had removed to Salisbury 
and was a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South, at that place. When Rev. Pitts began 
the advocacy of the division of the colored members from 
the whites and the organization of a colored society he 
was among the first to join him in this undertaking, and 
was a member of the organization of the African Meth- 
odist Episcopal Zion Church at this place in 1865. Long 
before this time he felt that God had called him to carry 
the word to the poor and teach all men by the preach- 
ing of the Gospel. But in the days of slavery he was 
not accorded the privilege of his call. He, however, 
looked forward to and earnestly prayed for the time to 
come when he could be free to exercise the functions of 
a Gospel minister, satisfying himself with what he was 
allowed to do at prayer meetings and class meetings by 
the permission of his superior, the white pastor. He felt 
that in the organization of the colored society his prayers 
had been answered, and he hailed the day with joy and 
thanksgiving to his God. Accordingly he joined with 
willing heart the new organization, and began laboring 
for and serving his Lord as if in a new atmosphere and 
in a clime more invigorating and pleasant. God signally 
blessed the new society, and it grew rapidly. In 1865 
he made application for and received local preacher's 
license under Rev. B. Hampton Taylor, Presiding Elder 
of the Salisbury, or Western, District of the North Caro- 
lina Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion 


Church. In this capacity he served till 1867, and was 
responsible to the Quarterly Conference of the Salisbury 
Church. While serving in this capacity he organized 
the society at Trot's School House, now known as the 
Second Creek Church. 

In 1867 the Annual Conference met at Fayetteville, 
N. C. At this session, according to the rule then pre- 
vailing, he was recommended by his presiding elder as a 
suitable person to join the traveling connection ; the 
Conference accepted the recommendation, and he was 
appointed to the pastorate of the Salisbury Station. He 
had been one of the leading factors in the building of 
the church at this place from the time of its organization 
to its completion. Little did he know that his appoint- 
ment would prove a godsend to that church, for while 
serving his first year a storm felled the building to the 
ground. He, with the assistance of his faithful colabor- 
ers, began work at once, and by the time the Conference 
convened he had built a more magnificent structure 
than the former one, built by Rev. T. H. Henderson 
while he was a lay member of that church. 

At the next Conference, 1868, he was assigned to the 
Second Creek Circuit by Right Rev. John J. Moore, 
D.D. Here he remained two years, having been reap- 
pointed in 1869. 

At the Conference of 1870 he was assigned to the 
Cedar Grove Circuit, continuing for two terms. During 
the first year he organized the church at China Grove, or 
Sandy Ridge, as it is now called. At this place there 
had been failures till he came. He found the people dis- 
couraged of ever perfecting any organization, and decided 


to abandon the idea. He preached his first sermons to 
them in an old arbor out in the open field. These 
efforts brought about new zeal, and the people became 
newly aroused and in better spirits, deciding to follow as 
he led. Knowing no failure, he went forward, success 
crowning his efforts. 

He purchased at this place a site and built a 
church in 1870. In the same period he built a church 
at Hatter Shop, near the place where he found Christ. 
Here there had been many failures, but God evidenced 
his pleasure and seal of his calling by again giving him 
success where others had failed. In 1872 he was assigned 
to the Cedar Grove Circuit, three of the churches being 
in Iredell County and three in Rowan County. In that 
year the church at Sill's Creek was erected under his di- 
rection and superintendence. 

In 1868, in the interval of the Annual Conference, 
Bishop J. J. Clinton ordained him with three others to 
the order of deacon in the Church. All except himself 
have gone to their reward and have refreshed them- 
selves after their labors. He pastored all the churches 
of his native county, laboring for God and Zion, and 
principally supporting himself by his trade, a tanner. 
The year 1872 closed his career in this section of the 
country, and well did he serve the Church and the cause 
of his Master. 

At the Conference which met at Fayetteville, N. C, 

in 1872, he was ordained an elder by Right Rev. James 

W. Hood, D.D., and assigned to the Granville Circuit in 

Granville County. Here he remained till 1877. He 

built Mount Moriah, Kesler's Temple, Harris's Chapel, 


and St. Mary's during the five years he remained on the 
work. He feels that the end of this pastorate was the 
most brilliant of all the successes he has had since he has 
been preaching. He found when he went on the work 
about two hundred and fifty members; but when he 
left the membership had increased to about nine hun- 
dred or one thousand, and two new societies had been 
organized. In 1868 and 1869 he was at Wadesboro; 
here he found an old open building and the people dis- 
couraged. He began in his usual way to excite an 
interest in the people, which resulted in the erection of 
a very creditable edifice. In 1880 and 1881 he was as- 
signed to the pastorate at Kinston, N. C. He remained 
here two years, and erected a very creditable church in 
a more suitable section of the place, where, as he felt, 
better success would attend the labors of the society. 

In 1882 he was assigned to the Jonesboro Circuit. 
Here he remained one year, and completed the churches 
at Paradise and Norrington, and raised a good amount 
to assist in the purchase of the church at Raleigh. 

In 1884 he was assigned to the Shelby Circuit. Dur- 
ing the first year he purchased a sufficient amount of ma- 
terial to erect a church building, but by reason of an 
appointment that operated against the connection the 
church was not built for Zion, his successor having 
revolted. He also collected material for the erection of 
the church at King's Mountain, a part of the circuit. 

The failure of the year succeeding his pastorate there 
caused him much pain, inasmuch as he had made such 
great sacrifices for the church at Shelby, and the work 
he had done went in the way it did because proper 


judgment had not been exercised in the appointment of 
his successor. This to some extent blasted his energies 
for a time, and he was somewhat discouraged in conse- 
quence. He felt that he ought to have been allowed to 
perfect the work he had so well begun. 

The next appointment was Mount Pleasant Circuit. 
Not much was accomplished beyond keeping the church 
together. The reason given for this inactivity was that he 
felt he had not been dealt with justly the year before, and 
what he had done had been so wantonly squandered. 

In 1885 he was assigned to the pastorate at Morgan ton. 
Grand temporal and especial spiritual success attended 
his labors here. Perhaps the greatest revival Morganton 
has ever had was conducted by him; so say the people. 
This ended his labors in the Carolina Conferences. 

In 1886 he was transferred to the Tennessee Conference 
by Right Rev. S. T. Jones, D.D., and was appointed 
Presiding Elder of the Asheville District, to finish the 
term of Rev. W. H. Ferguson, who had been transferred 
to the New York Conference. He was reluctant in sub- 
mitting to the change, but at last consented at the earnest 
request of Bishop J. W. Hood, D.D., then bishop over 
the Tennessee Conference. In this capacity he served 
four years and a half. The district has been blessed 
with many new organizations and new church edifices. 
There were few churches on the work there suitable for 
winter services ; but by the usual energy characterizing 
his labors he went to work, and now it is safe to say 
that there are as many churches on the work suitable for 
all-year services as on any district in the connection, all 
things taken into consideration. 


Although he has labored incessantly through twenty- 
seven years, bridging many hardships and doing the 
work of an evangelist, he is yet quite as active as most 
of our young men. He has been five times elected a 
delegate to the General Conference of the Church, and 
always advocates advanced thought both in that body 
and upon the floor of the Annual Conferences. He is 
a devoted Christian and a man possessed of rare piety, 
universally beloved by those who know him and respected 
by all for his becoming demeanor in public and private 
life. F. M. Jacobs. 


Frederick M. Jacobs was born at Camden, Kershaw 
County, S. C. His parents were Benjamin and Han- 
nah Jacobs. Frederick was placed in school at the 
early age of six years, remaining until he had com- 
pleted the common English course. Thirsting for knowl- 
edge, he entered the Jackson College, preparatory to the 
South Carolina University, which he entered in 1873. 
He was rapidly advancing when the partisan politics of 
the State changed from Republican to Democratic, which 
faction, by legislation in 1877, disallowed to Negro stu- 
dents the privilege of attending, and closed these doors 
of learning against young men anxious to perfect them- 
selves. This checked for a time the scholastic prepara- 
tions of our subject, but his aspirations for a higher 
development could not be daunted even by a judicial 

In 1880, just when he was in a position to assist, both 
his mother and father died, which added still greater 


difficulties to the completion of his college course. Being 
constitutionally ambitious, he sedulously applied himself 
to private study, under efficient teachers in the Charles- 
ton Military College, devoting his spare time to his 

REV. F. M. JACOBS, A.B., B.D. 

trades of photographing, butchering, brick masonry, and 

While at Charleston he felt the need of a Saviour to 
pardon him of his sins, that he might become an object 
of God's love and mercy. Having been reared by very 


careful and pious persons, he felt that his moral training- 
was almost sufficient unto salvation. But it was under 
the preaching of Revs. Segare, of the Baptist Church, 
and Laurence, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, that 
he saw himself the sinner he was ; for three months 
he wrestled with Satan and sin, and by continual suppli- 
cation to the Spirit for aid and for the blessing he tri- 
umphed and was adopted into the heavenly household. 
Being undecided as to what Church doctrine suited him 
best, he did not connect himself with any until he had 
fully settled in his mind this one very important step. 
He became acquainted with the clergy of each denomina- 
tion in the city, and learned from them the leading doc- 
trines and usages of their respective Churches. In 1882 
he went to Charlotte, N. C, where he became acquainted 
with Rev. R. S. Rieves, D.D., and after gaining a knowl- 
edge of the progressive spirit and scriptural doctrines of 
the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church he decided 
to join it, sought admission, and was received into the 
Church and baptized by that faithful servant of God, 
Dr. Rieves. 

He applied for license to preach, and the Quarterly 
Conference, presided over by that dignified and scholarly 
presiding elder, J. A. Tyler, granted him a license. 
The fall of that year he joined the Central North Carolina 
Conference, but feeling that he would like to be prepared 
fully for the work he decided to reenter college. In 
1884 he left North Carolina and entered Howard Uni- 
versity, at Washington, D. C, to review the college 
studies and take the regular three years' course in the 
seminary, from which he graduated with the degree of 


A.B. in 1888. In 1886 he joined the Philadelphia and 
Baltimore Conference, presided over by Bishop J. W. 
Hood. At that Conference, for proficiency in the studies 
examined, Bishop Hood, to encourage him, gave him a 
copy of his sermons and ordered his name added to the list 
of candidates to be examined for deacons' orders. By re- 
quest of Dr. Dyson he was appointed junior pastor of 
the Wesley Zion Church, Washington, D. C, of which 
Dr. Dyson was then pastor in charge. 

In 1887, while still pursuing his course at the univer- 
sity, he was appointed city missionary for Washington. 
Two months after the session of the Conference a vacancy 
occurred at Baltimore, Md., by the transfer of Rev. M. 
H. Ross to the Genesee Conference. The members be- 
came discouraged and scattered like sheep gone astray. 
Bishop T. H. Lomax appointed him to take charge and 
fill the vacancy. He went immediately about the work, 
discouraged, yet he felt assured that God would assist 
him. Zion had lost its standing; the Church had gone 
to naught; there was literally no congregation, but ere 
the Conference convened the membership had been in- 
creased from almost nothing to 226. He was zealous of 
his Zion's interest, and wanted to see her as strong in 
Baltimore as any other church. He searched the sections 
of the city for a suitable site to build the church he so 
well loved. There had been an organization in North 
Baltimore, but it had been abandoned. Finding the place, 
and one or two Zion members, he got together others to 
the number of thirteen, and reorganized the Clinton 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Mission, placing it 
under the care of a local preacher, Rev. Johnson. Still 


desirous of spreading Zion in the city, he took another of 
his local preachers, Rev. Samuel I. Mills, found a suit- 
able locality in the western part of the city, rented a 
house, and organized a Sabbath school of over forty chil- 
dren. After the first Sunday he authorized Rev. Mills 
to hold divine services, and called the people who attended 
to meet him on Wednesday night, upon which night he 
organized an entirely new society, composed of nine 
members, and named it the Mount Olive African Metho- 
dist Episcopal Zion Church. The mother Church entered 
a protest against the new Church, but he was determined 
that Zion should occupy an unoccupied ground in that 
place. A revival started, and when Conference convened 
the new Mount Olive Church was received into the con- 
nection at the session held in Washington, D. C, 1888, 
with seventy-nine members. The mother Church 'in 
Baltimore sent a strong petition to the Conference for 
his return for another year, but he did not desire to re- 
turn, thinking that he had sacrificed enough for the 
church at that point. He was ordained an elder at this 
Conference in 1888, in John Wesley Church, Washing- 
ton, D. C, by Bishop Lomax, and was appointed to the 
pastorate of the Wesley Union Church, Harrisburg, Pa., 
to succeed Rev. G. W. Offiey. There was a small debt 
remaining on the church for repairs, made under Rev. 
R. J. Daniels, which was cancelled during his first year's 
pastorate. This appointment was made six weeks before 
the graduating exercises at Howard University, but the 
faculty permitted him to go on to his charge and at the 
proper time return and take the examination, which he 
did, standing second in the class of '88. 


At the Conference in York, Pa., in 1889, Bishop S. T. 
Jones reappointed him to the Wesley Union Church. 
A vacancy occurred in the West Harrisburg Church, the 
second African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, by the 
transfer of Rev. J. F. Waters to the New England Con- 
ference. Bishop Jones wrote to him to hold both the 
churches until he could secure a minister. After preach- 
ing- at his own, the first church, often he would go out 
and preach a second sermon in the same night's service. 
With the assistance of his local preachers he held these 
two city churches, both having two services per day, for 
three months. During this year the church at Mechan- 
icsburg, Pa. , was about to be sold ; hearing of it, he set 
about securing the money, none too soon to save it to the 

At the Conference which met at Baltimore he was 
transferred to the East Tennessee Conference, filling out 
an unexpired term, until the Conference met at Chatta- 
nooga, Tenn., October, 1890. He was then assigned to 
Hopkins Chapel, Asheville, N. C. During the first year 
all outstanding debts were paid and a handsome five- 
room parsonage was built and paid for. God signally 
blessed the church with spiritual gifts and many acces- 
sions. He was returned in 1891, and after many 
attempts and many failures the West Asheville Mission 
Church was established. A lot was purchased and all 
but $33 paid on it. The most peculiar thing in the 
organization of the second church in the city proper was 
that Rev. Jacobs bought and paid for the new church 
lot, with the assistance of the officers and members of 
the first church, Hopkins Chapel. The second church 


shows promise of being the leading church of that place. 
At the Conference of 1891, which met at Maryville, 
Tenn., he was elected a delegate to the General Confer- 
ence which convened at Pittsburg, Pa., 1892. Pursuant 
to this meeting he precipitated discussion which resulted 
in the organization of the mission department in the 
Church. He was a candidate for the position of General 
Secretary of Missions, but by the earnest request of 
friends consented to enter the race for General Steward, 
receiving the second best vote, Rev. J. W. Alstork re- 
ceiving the greatest number. Bishop Hood appointed 
him one of a commission to meet a similar commission 
from the African Methodist Episcopal Church to formu- 
late plans and basis of organic union between the two 
bodies, and to decide upon a name for the new united 
church. In the election of the members of the General 
Board of Education he was chosen as one to represent 
the Fifth Episcopal District. In 1892, at the Conference 
which met in Bristol, Tenn., he was assigned to Logan 
Temple, Knoxville, Tenn. Here he met stubborn condi- 
tions he had not expected. The church was under 
mortgage to secure a loan to cancel the debt so long 
standing. The church and public had been informed 
that Logan Temple was free from debt ; when the truth 
was known it fell like a thunderbolt upon the people. 
There was a very short time left in which to raise the 
money. The people were discouraged, and it required 
much care that the forces and friends of former pastors 
might render assistance. Opposed by many, yet encour- 
aged by a few, he set about to raise the necessary money 
to liquidate the debt upon the church and save it to Zion. 


It seemed that he would fail, but single-handed and 
alone he gave a "World's Fair" entertainment, from 
which he cleared a sufficient amount to save the church 
and stay any proceedings. Before the Conference year 
ended the debt had been paid off, and the church, Logan 
Temple, one of the most imposing structures and impor- 
tant charges in the connection, was cleared of all embar- 
rassment, mortgages, deeds of trust, and notes. 

Brother Jacobs has for his lifetime companion the 
daughter of Bishop Lomax, a most worthy helpmeet. 

This Conference was organized by Bishop J. J. Clinton 
in 1866. There were about twenty-five preachers present 
at the organization. We write from memory. Among 
the number were the following: Rev. J. B. Trusty, from 
the Philadelphia Conference ; Revs. Noble L. Johns and 
James Howell, from the New York Conference ; Rev. 
John Williams, A. M. Ferribee, Jeffrey Overton, and J. 
W. Hood, from the North Carolina Conference ; also the 
following became members at this session, namely: 
Charles Heath, James Crocker, J. McH. Farley, Griffin 
Irby, Chapel Irby, Wyatt Walker, Elliston Overton, W. 
C. Butler, Samuel Sunderlin, and William Howard Day. 
Brother Day was ordained an elder at this session. If 
lie had taken work in that Conference at that time, and 
had bent his best effort to the work of building up that 
Conference, Zion might easily have been as strong in 
Virginia as she is in North Carolina. He was very much 
better equipped than any other man we had in the South 
at that time. 


Dr. Day has sometimes been spoken of in connection 
with the bishopric. If he had captured Virginia for Zion 
it would have been impossible to have kept him out of 
the bishopric. His extraordinary ability, and the forces 
of his own making, would have pushed his claims, which 
would have been irresistible. We have a notion that 
there comes to every man a special opportunity in this 
life ; some even have more than one, but it is never 
entirely safe to neglect the first opportunity. 

The Virginia Conference was laid off to embrace all 
that portion of Virginia which lies south of the James 
River, except what is included in the Tennessee Confer- 
ence, and also fourteen counties in the northeast part of 
North Carolina. Eight of the counties in North Carolina 
and eight in Virginia have been pretty well occupied. 
There are now three presiding elders' districts, all well 
arranged and presided over by good, efficient men. 

This has led all the other Southern Conferences in 
raising the General Fund in proportion to membership, 
and is in every respect among the very best Conferences, 
both as to ministers and membership. The three pre 
siding elders were all raised up in this Conference. The 
moral character of the men is such that it has not been 
necessary for several years to appoint a committee on 
complaints. The present roll is as follows : 

Presiding Bishop, J. W. Hood, D.D. 

Presiding Elders, Rev. R. A. Fisher, C. W. Winfield, 
T. R. V. Harrison. 

Conference Steward, Rev. A. L. Newby. 

Elders, Charles Heath, Samuel Story, Nathaniel Davis, 
J. C. Coleman, J. H. Wilson, M. N. Levey, H. C. 


Phillips, C. W. Jones, Joseph Woodhouse, S. M. G. 
Copeland, S. P. Cook, W. H. Snowden, E. Overton, H. 
H. Whitbee, J. L. Overton, D. W. Bowe, A. Pindle, 
J. R. Davis, O. G. Jenkins, J. L. Griffin, J. T. Lowery, 
H. B. Jones, M. Gordon, J. McH. Farley, R. H. Dick, 
W. C. Butler, H. B. Pettigrew, W. L. Clayton, C. B. 
Hogans, Mack Lynear, S. A. Chambers, J. S. Nichols, 
N. C. Collins. 

Deacons, I. Billips, S. A. Brown, J. C. Edney, W. 
Tyler, E. J. Archer, A. W. Lowther, D. Thompson, 
W. A. Sawyer, William Wooton, J. W. Bowe, C. W. 
Griffin, B. F. Harrison, R. E. Cousins. 

Preachers, G. W. Brown, E. S. Williams. ' 

Local Ministers, Jacob Fisher, J. J. Franklin, R. T. 
Smith, B. Stitt, Griffin Irby, W. M. Long, W. M. Fagan, 
C. Irby. 

Among the men who have passed away Rev. A. Paxton 
stood the highest in the estimation of his brethren. He 
was a very strong and at the same time a very meek man. 
There were none truer to his Church than he. He was the 
first preacher licensed to preach in that part of the State. 
He was licensed less than two months after the war, at the 
time that the Church in Edenton was received into the 
connection. His ministerial labors, which covered a 
period of about twenty years, were always successful. 
He was among the class of preachers who could stay four 
years in a place to the benefit of the Church. He was 
an upright man himself, but had great compassion for 
weaker brethren. Revs. James A. Jones and J. P. Hamer, 
of whom we have spoken elsewhere, both died while 
laboring in this Conference. Rev. G. W. Conner did 


good work for a short season, but died at Petersburg 
before the close of his first year. Rev. Watkins Jones 
was also among the successful builders in this Conference. 

Missionary Secretary. 

Rev. J. H. Manley, D.D., is one of the few young 
men of the race who, by virtue of his own self-reli- 
ance, perseverance, and faith in God has pushed him- 
self to the front, and is to-day one of the leading 
divines of his connection, as well as the Sankey of the 
race. He is a native of Elkton, a little city in Mary- 
land, and is the only Doctor of Divinity that city ever 
produced. Four years after he entered the schools 
of his home, so rapid was his progress in learning 
that he was offered the teacher's chair, which he filled 
with great satisfaction. He was for a number of years 
President of the Young Men's Christian Association of 

Dr. Manley is a good, practical Gospel preacher and an 
excellent pastor, and is successful in winning his people 
regardless of creed. He was the Presiding Elder of the 
Virginia Conference for two ' years, and was afterward 
pastor of the Zion Church in Petersburg, Va. He has 
been twice elected delegate to the General Conference of 
his Church, and is now pastor of Logan Temple African 
Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Knoxville, Tenn. 

George W. Cruikshank, editor of the Cecil Democrat, 
of Elkton, Md., who .knew him from a boy, after hearing 
Rev. Manley lecture, said: "There is neither money, 
nor honor, nor politics in our well-considered declaration 




that what Rev. James H. Manley said last Monday evening- 
amazed while it pleased us. We felt inclined to rub our 
eyes and thrice wonder if it could be that that little ur- 
chin who used to take orders for rare beefsteak and shyly 
laugh at our chagrin when it came cooked to dryness was 
the developed pulpit orator who stood before us. His 
manner of speaking was up to the most cultured rules of 
modern eloquence." R. Haywood Stitt. 


W. H. Newby was born at Belvidere, N. C, in the 
year 1852. He was reared by Quakers and sent to school, 
where he acquired the rudiments of an education, but 
still is practically a self-made man. At an early age he 
took charge of a free school in Pasquotank County, N. C, 
and taught for several years. He married at twenty, 
and has a family of three daughters. He entered the 
ministry in 1880 at Bay Branch, N. C, under Bishop 
J. W. Hood, presiding bishop of the Virginia An- 
nual Conference. The first work he did was at Nix- 
onton, N. C, where he built a very nice church costing 
$1,200. The largest portion of this money was donated 
by white friends on Staten Island, N. Y. He made a 
special friend on this island in the person of Lawyer 
A. De Groot, who is still a friend of the cause he 

The second church he built was at Franklin, Va., 
where he started with only three members, and in less 
than six months he had nearly completed a building cost- 
ing one thousand dollars. At the close of two years 
many had been added to the church and the debt paid 


off excepting about three hundred dollars. He was next 
sent to Norfolk, Va., where his most successful work was 
done. From there he went to Union Wesley African 
Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Twenty-third Street, 


Washington, D. C. Here he raised more money in 1893 
than had been raised in one year since the pastorate of 
Elder Dyson. He is still meeting with success. 

This Conference was organized by Bishop J. J. Clin- 
ton (accompanied by Revs. W. J. Moore, F. B. Moore, 
and Thomas Henderson, from the North Carolina Con- 
ference), March 24, 1867. 

Horace Clinton and Titus Hogans walked through the 


country from Lancaster County, S. C, to New Berne, 
N. C, to meet the North Carolina Conference in 1866. 
They were received and ordained deacons, and sent back 
as missionaries. It was then agreed to set off the South 
Carolina Conference. Of the original members only 
three are now living on this side of the Jordan of death, 
as follows: Bishop I. C. Clinton, Elders D. I. Walker 
and Barney Burton. 

This Conference has had rapid growth. There are 
about one hundred churches, all of which have been built 
during the last twenty years, except the one at Lancaster, 
in which the Conference was organized. The men in 
this Conference have the laudable ambition to keep this 
Conference abreast with the foremost in the connection. 
Certainly no Conference has been more loyal to our con- 
nectional institutions. The Book Concern, the Star of 
Zion, the College, and the Sabbath School department, 
have all received great encouragement from the South 
Carolina Conference. This is the more praiseworthy 
when we consider that the Lancaster High School, which 
is only second to Livingstone College itself, is located in 
this Conference. This institution is doing a most com- 


mendable work. Men raised up in the South Carolina 
Conference are filling important pulpits in the New Eng- 
land, Allegheny, and the Kentucky Conferences. This 
Conference has been recently divided and the Palmetto 
Conference set off. Below we give the roll of members : 

Bishop, Right Rev. I. C. Clinton, D.D. 

Conference Officers, Rev. F. Killingsworth, Conference 
Steward; Rev. T. P. R. Moore, Secretary and Compiler; . 
Rev. D. C. Baum, Assistant and Recording Secretary; 


Rev. W. M. Robinson, Statistical Secretary ; Rev. Y. J. P. 
Cohen, Corresponding - Editor to Star of Zion ; Professor 
W. A. Walker, A. B., Editor South Carolina Herald; 
Rev. G. W. McDowell, Reporter to Rock Hill Herald ; 
Rev. M. Ingram, Reporter to Chester Reporter ; Rev. R. 
I. Apostle, Reporter to the State ; Professor W. R. Doug- 
las, A.B., Reporter to the Ledger ; Rev. J. H. Jackson, 
Timist; Rev. William Clark, Post Office Messenger; 
Revs. N. A. Rice and A. C. Cureton, Marshals; Mrs. 
Bishop I. C. Clinton, Vice President of Women's Home 
and Foreign Missionary Society. 

Presiding Elders, Revs. D. I. Walker, N. A. Crockett, 
T. P. R. Moore. 

Elders, Revs. A. M. Moore, M. Ingram, J. H. Jackson, 
T.J. Benson, S. L. Jones, C. C. Alexander, W..M. 
Robinson, I. J. Jackson, P. R. Nichols, F. R. McKoy, S. 
W. Burton, R. W. Wilson, S. J. Sterling, A. R. Russel, 

F. Killingsworth, J. A. Jackson, Y. J. P. Cohen, S. P. 
Gibson, N. A. Rice, R. A. McCreary, R. T. Terry, L. 

G. Gregory, J. M. Erwin, A. McLeese. 

Deacons, Revs. F. Adams, C. Dunlap, R. W. Miller, J. 

B. Ellis, Z. Belton, T. Miller, T. P. Dunlap, William 
Clark, J. R. Blake, T. Cowsar, A. C. Cureton, Joseph 
Stephens, B. Stroud, R. Nelson, William Hagans, A. W. 
Wilson, York Harris, J. J. Stradford, H. K. Edwards, J. 

C. Choen, G. W. McDowell, R. I. Apostle. 
Superannuated Ministers, Revs. M. Jones, William Ha- 
gans, R. Stroud. 

Traveling Preachers, Revs. J. L. Rainey, W. M. Boul- 
ware, A. J. Jackson. 

Preachers on Trial: Third year, York Harris, J. R. 


Blake, C. C. Crawford, J. C. Choen. Second year, 
Revs. William Jackson, A. W. Wilson, J. E. Robinson, 
D. C. Baum, L. G: Gregory, M. J. Edwards, C. H. 
Hood, J. J. Stradford, H. K. Edwards. First year, 
William Thompson, J. J. Johnson, J. A. Beckham, R. 
B. Smith, J. J. Parks. 


N. A. Crockett was born two miles west of Lancaster 
Village, Lancaster County, S. C, November 25, 1842. 
He joined the Methodist Episcopal Church the first Sun- 
day in March, 1859, under Rev. B. Stevens, pastor, at 
the age of sixteen years; professed religion in 1862. 
Married at the age of twenty-three. He had no educa- 
tional advantages excepting the Blue-back Speller. After 
the " surrender" he was enabled to acquire a somewhat 
slight knowledge of Davies's Arithmetic, grammar, and 
geography, and Swinton's Word Analysis. He received a 
local preacher's license from Rev. I. C. Clinton, then 
Presiding Elder of the Lancaster District, at Old Eben- 
ezer, Kershaw County, S. C, in August, 1868. In 1869, 
serving as a local preacher, he built Mount Zion's 
first church, which stands now — Mount Nebo. In 1871 
he served at North Corner, Lancaster County, as a 
"supply" local preacher; built there Corner Stone 
Church. Joined the Annual Conference 1872, in Lan- 
caster Village, S. C, and was ordained deacon. Sent as 
"supply" to Steel Hill Mission by Rev. R. Wilson, pre- 
siding elder, in 1872; built Steel Hill Church the first 

* Brother Crockett has been one of our most successful men. This 
sketch, written by himself, fails to do him justice. 


year, and bought ground and built Camp Arbor in 1874, 
building the same year White Oak Church. 

After remaining on the above-named circuits from 
1872 to 1875, was sent by Bishop Hood to Mount Hope, 
on Camphor Creek, and built Mount Carmel and Mount 
Moriah churches. In 1878-79 served at Pineville Cir- 


cuit. In 1 88 1 served Clinton Chapel, Yorkville, and 
White Hill, York County, painting and ceiling Clinton 
Chapel, and building the church parsonage there. In 
1886-88 preached at Mount Zion Church, Chester Sta- 
tion, S. C, re-covering the church and erecting bell- 
tower. In 1888-89 preached at St. John's Church, 
Fairfield County, building within fifty feet, more or less, 
of the old church, a structure that rivals any "country" 


church in the South Carolina Conference. In 1889 he 
was elected presiding elder in the South Carolina Confer- 
ence, in session at Chester, S. C, Bishop S. T. Jones, 
presiding; served three years on the Chester District, 
two years on the York District, and now (1894) serving 
his third year as Presiding Elder of the York District. 
Built his last church up to this time at Blacksburg, York 
County, S. C. (1893). 

In all of his church building he took in hand the entire 
business relations, etc., connected therewith, had the im- 
mediate oversight of all the work, and performed with 
his own hands principally all the manual labor, such as 
carpentry, masonry, etc. 


Bishop Clinton was never happier over the organization 
of a Conference than at the formation of Georgia Confer- 
ence. He had taken into the connection that fine Trinity 
Church in Augusta, Ga., said at that time to be one 
of the finest colored churches in the South. In this 
church he had held the Conference, one of the best Con- 
ferences, he thought, that he had ever held, and the out- 
look for Georgia was most promising. He thought 
Edwin West, who was in charge of Trinity, one of the 
grandest men he ever met. Notwithstanding all of this 
fine promise, this was one of Bishop Clinton's very few 
failures. His man "Friday "was not with him. He 
had two men in this Southern work who sustained that 
relation, but unfortunately neither of them was with 
him on this occasion. The greatest general needs aids 
in all great undertakings. But the bishop's aids were so 


situated that they could not be with him, and he was 
obliged to go alone. He thought he had made sure 
work, but he was mistaken ; the man upon whom he had 
leaned failed him. Edwin West " went back on him." 
Soon after the close of the Conference, Trinity Church, 
with Edwin West, its pastor, withdrew from the connec- 
tion, and our hopes for Georgia were lost. Augusta was 
one of the three important points in Georgia at that 
time. The Methodist Episcopal Church held Atlanta, 
the African Methodist Episcopal held Savannah, but if 
we could have held Augusta we should have been in as 
good fix as any of them ; but we failed to hold Augusta, 
and so lost Georgia. Our work there ever since that time 
has been up hill. All things considered, however, the 
few who were faithful to Zion's cause after the break 
have struggled on like heroes, and have maintained the 
organization, and Zion still lives in Georgia. 

Not only this, but the Georgia Conference has become 
a mother. The South Georgia has been set off by the 
Georgia Conference, of which we shall speak in its turn. 


This Conference was organized in State Street Church, 
Mobile, Ala., April 3, 1867, Bishop J. J. Clinton, D.D., 
presiding, and Rev. W. Strong, secretary. It has the 
largest number of ministers of any in the connection. 

The work in Alabama is next to that in North Caro- 
lina in importance. In one respect we had from the 
beginning an advantage in Alabama which we had not 
in North Carolina. In the latter State Bethel got the 
lead on us, both at the capital and at the metropolis. In 


Alabama we got both capital and metropolis. This 
gives Zion an influence in that State which our efficient 
young men are beginning to use to great advantage. 
There is no Conference in which the prospect is brighter 
or the possibilities greater. Being further south, and 
more affected by the blighting influence of slavery, the 
men who began the work there were not so well 
equipped as those who were nearer to the northern bor- 
der ; but their sons are beginning to exhibit the effects of 
their better opportunities. 

There were private schools for colored children in New 
Berne, Wilmington, Fayetteville, and some other points 
in North Carolina long after they ceased to be tolerated 
in any other part of the South, and the effect thereof 
is seen upon North Carolinians wherever dispersed. 
In Alabama and other more southern States the flame of 
intelligence in the mind of the slave was more effectually 
quenched ; hence when emancipation came there were 
fewer in that section who had the intellectual capacity 
for the work of the ministry. The men were there in 
greater numbers than anywhere else in the land. They 
had the piety and zeal, but the opportunity for culture 
had been wholly denied them. The wonder is that they 
have done so well. 

Among the men who have distinguished themselves in 
the building up of that work we may mention Rev. W. G. 
Strong, who was the first missionary sent to that field. 
He was especially selected by Bishop Clinton for that field, 
and Bishop Clinton seldom made a mistake in the selection 
of his man. A bishop cannot always get the man he 
wants, and has to take a second, sometimes a third choice. 


In Strong, Bishop Clinton was fortunate in getting the 
man he wanted for that particular work. He was ex- 
ceedingly well equipped — in fact, the best equipped of any 
man he had in the South at that time. He had a good 
education and was a splendid preacher. He was affable, 
genial, and pleasing in his manners. No one could know 
him and not love him. Among the most distinguished 
of the men whom Bishop Clinton found on the spot 
and ordained for the work in Alabama we must mention 
Revs. Allen Hannon, Solomon Derry, Lewis Oliver, M. 
G. Thomas, Lander Fannin, and Miles Page, who still 
survive. E. D. Taylor, a man of great energy, S. W. 
Jones, who was well equipped for work, Samuel Wilson, a 
man of an excellent Christian spirit, and J. M. Butler, the 
great organizer, have all passed away. 

Father Hannon, though aged, is still full of zeal, and 
attended the last General Conference, as he has every one 
since 1872. 

H. Shuford came in a little later, but ranks among the 
older men of the Conference. Among the rising young 
men we may mention Revs. J. W. Alstork, J. W. Cooper, 
T. A. Weathington, Joseph Gomez, and A. J. Rodgers. 
We copy the following from the Minutes of 1 892 : 

compiler's general statement. 

This is the twenty-fourth session of the Alabama Annual Confer- 
ence, presided over respectively by Right Rev. J. P. Thompson, M.D., 
1880 to 1882; Right Rev. J. W. Hood, D.D., 1883 to 1885; Right Rev. 
T. H. Lomax, D.D., 1886 to 1888; reappointed from General Confer- 
ence, New Berne, N. C, four years, reappointed in General Conference 
at Pittsburg, Pa., 1892 to 1896. The Alabama Conference has five Pre- 
siding Elder Districts. Presiding Elders: Revs. J. W. Alstork, D.D., 
H. P. Shuford, R. R. Morris, D.D., M. G. Thomas, S. Derry. 


Prominent Stations. — Clinton Chapel, Montgomery, built by Rev. 
Allen Hannon, 1873 ; its present pastor, Rev. A. J. Rodgers. Mount Zion, 
Montgomery ; beautiful structure, built by Rev. T. A. Weathington, 1889; 
cost $3,000 ; built, dedicated, March 4 to August, first Sunday ; the entire 
debt paid within nine months ; Rev. J. W. Cooper is its present pastor. 
Zion Star, Hilliard Chapel, Ebenezer and Bibb Town Mission, all in the 
city. Our church in Tuskegee, Ala,, is a handsome building, erected by 
Rev. P. J. Mcintosh, and completed and dedicated by Rev. A.J. Rodgers ; 
pastor, Rev. J. T. McMillan. At Talladega, Ala., we have a fine church 
in course of erection by Rev. Joseph Gomez. Anniston Church is destined 
to be one of our best. Greenville Station is a spacious and beautiful 
church ; it has been well pastored ; it is a charge much to be desired. 
Wetumpka Church was built by Rev. A. J. Rodgers, and bears his name ; 
Rev. R. Taylor, pastor. Hayneville Station can hardly be surpassed ; it 
is grand in appearance ; Rev. J. H. Hale is pastor. Thompson Chapel, 
Opelika, is a good station, having been pastored by some of our ablest 
ministers ; built by Rev. J. W. Cooper, 1880. Ebenezer Church, in West 
Montgomery, was built by Rev. H. Salley, 1883. Stone Chapel ranks 
among the finest of our country churches, attracting the attention of all 
passers-by ; built by Rev. A. S. Watkins, 1883. 

There are ninety-six appointments in the Conference. The Conference 
has been held since 1879 in the following cities and towns: 1880, Tuskegee; 
1 88 1, Greenville ; 1882, Montgomery ; 1883, Talladega ; 1884, Montgomery; 
1885, Opelika; 1886, Union Springs ; 1887, Montgomery; 1888, Green- 
ville; 1889, Montgomery ; 1890, Opelika; 1 891, Talladega; 1892, Montgom- 
ery; 1893, to meet at Anniston. 

General officers connected with the Conference (3) : Rev. J. W. Alstork, 
D.D., General Steward ; Rev. R. R. Morris, General Superintendent Sun- 
day School Department ; Rev. T. A. Weathington, Financial Secretary 
Sunday School Department. 

We give below a list of the officers and members of 
the Alabama Annual Conference, Twenty-fourth ses- 
sion, 1 891 and 1892 : 

Presiding Bishop, Right Rev. T. H. Lomax, D.D. 

Secretary, Joseph Gomez. 

Assistant Secretary and Compiler, T. A. Weathington. 

Statistician, J. J. Taylor. 

Post Office Messenger, A. L. Trimble. 

Marshals, M. Mahorn, H. Talley. 


Conference Steward, J. W. Cooper. 

Presiding Elders, J. W. Alstork, R. R. Morris, D.D., 
H. P. Shuford, M. G. Thomas, S. Derry. 

Traveling Elders, T. A. Weathington, Dr. R. R. Mor- 
ris, A. S. Watkins, Joseph Gomez, A. J. Rodgers, T. L. 
Holt, William Curry, Alexander Stokes, Jeremiah R. 
Gill, Allen Hannon, William Worthy, L. S. Peterson, A. 
Gregory, William Eastley, William Brown, L. A. Oliver, 
Matthew Jackson, T. R. Rodgers, C. L. W. Hamilton, 
Samuel Allen, George W. Drake, L. Fannin, C. C. Alli- 
son, J. H. Hale, Robert Taylor, C. McClain, Benjamin 
Freeman, H. Talley, William Finley, Thomas Crenshaw, 
M. Rankins, C. Jerman, Silas Lipscomb, C. Hubbert, A. 
L. Green, A. L. Trimble, S. J. Odom (suspended), M. 
Mahorn, Tobias Matthew, J. Wingfield, T. L. Jackson, 
J. R. Rustin, L. Lewis, William Jacobs, C. T. Green, 
R. L. Boyd, D. C. Calhoun, McDufley Sharp, W. S. 
Medows, C. C. Crawford, J. J. Taylor, L. D. Workman, 
P. S. Samuels. 

Supernumerary Deacons, T. M. Moore, W. H. Har- 
mon, G. M. Barry, M. D. Alexander, Silas Smith, Reg- 
don Harris, H. C. White, C. L. Johnson, F. P. Martin, 
R. Kemp, J. T. Scales, Alford Mobley, A. White, Moses 

Superannuated Deacon, Abram McGee. 

Supernumerary Elders, Revs. Robert Clopton, Samuel 
Hill, A. Davis (blind), Nelson McGee, J. Hensler, Cor- 
nelius Doan, Lewis Jackson, W. Simpson, H. Heard, G. 
Sexton, S. Williams, Nelson Bibb, H. C. Sampy. 

Superannuated Elders, Revs. Henry Lawhorn, R.Wilcox. 

Travelifig Deacons, Revs. J. C. Harris, J. G. Gulley, 


Albert Mahoney, S. Gains, N. R. Richmond, A. Waters 
N. H. Brown, M. Rollins, F. L. Bell, C. F. Brown, J 
W. Armstrong, S. Green, Wilson Everet, G. W. Davidson 
A. Chapel, E. Sneed, C. L. Alexander, Noah Bowen, J 
Goode, S. McClain, D. Davis, J. Barnett, G. G. Green 
J. W. Booker, P. W. Laremore, J. H. Hubbard, David 
Wright, Robert Jacobs, R. C. Shepard, Thomas Bar- 
nett, T. H. Mitchell, S. Carter, Thomas Jones, D. D. 
Green, J. C. Hill, J. H. Lee, James Chamblis, C. W. 
Motley, G. W. Lee, D. Hubbard, J. W. Smith. 

Preachers in Full Connection, Revs. A. Bowen, B. Dorsey, 
Dennis Gulley, Henry Tillis, William Duncan, Prince 
Johnson, Sidney Saunders, Robert Jacobs, J. Starkley, 
William Scott. 

Preachers on Fourth Year, Revs. W. A. Lewis, William 
Dickinson, M. D. Davidson, James Ardis, N. G. George, 
W. N. Lewis, C. F. Brown, W. B. J. Lee, B. H. Bowles. 

Preachers on Second Year, Revs. J. B. McLain, A. W. 
Williams, O. P. O'Neil, C. E. Baker, J. T. McMillen, 
D. C. Davenport, R. B. Jones, W. L. Jones, Aaron Kit- 
chen, Peter Earley, William Talbott, Frank Ward, J. W. 

Preachers on First Year, Revs. Nathan Durits, F. H. 
Hubbert, A. Z. Brown, S. P. Wood, William Meadows, 
Henry Johnson, William Perry, W. J. Gresham, I. S. 
Smith, Henry McGee, James Jones, James Hawkins, E. 
M. Brooks, L. A. Bell. 


Solomon Derry was born in North Carolina of slave 
parents. He cannot tell his age nor the county where 


he was born ; lie was brought to Alabama when but a 
babe in his mother's arms, and has never seen his father. 
His mother's name was Margaret Huggins. When 
about seven years of age his mother had him taught the 
alphabet while she would watch ; for it was almost death 
to any person found teaching a Negro to read and write, 
and equally as dangerous to the Negro who tried to learn. 


However, his instructor succeeded in carrying his stu- 
dent as far as " she fed the old hen," etc. Here Solomon 
was left to continue his studies or not, as he saw fit. 
His good and thoughtful mother had him study alone, 
then spell and read to her each night. But soon he was 
hired out and his progress was somewhat retarded ; hav- 
ing a strong desire to improve, however, he continued his 


studies, and soon learned to read and write. He gives 
his faithful mother all the credit for his early success in 
life. He gave his heart to God when but a boy and 
joined the grand old Methodist Church ; he has spent 
about forty-two years in the service of God. He was for 
a long time superintendent of the Sunday school of the 
Old Ship, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, 
Montgomery, Ala., and was also a member of this 
church. He was licensed to exhort in 1861 by Rev. F. 
G. Ferguson, presiding elder, and licensed to preach 
June, 1865, by Bishop J. J. Clinton. On November 19, 
1865, he joined the Louisiana Annual Conference and was 
ordained deacon by Bishop J. J. Clinton. He was one 
of the first colored teachers of the day school in Mont- 
gomery, Ala., taught in the Old Ship Church. 

In 1867 he was ordained elder by Bishop J. J. Clinton, 
and appointed to Union Springs, Ala., where he planted 
Zion 4 and organized the following churches: Derry's 
Chapel, at Union Springs, Ala. ; St. Paul, at Magnolia ; 
Lee's Chapel, at Aberfoil ; Zion Church, at Thompson's ; 
Mallard's Chapel, at Pea River; Bascom's Cornerstone, 
at Bascom's Mill; Moore's Chapel, at Raimer's; Ross 
Chapel, at Hurtsboro ; Henderson's Chapel, and Little 
Zion, at Orion ; Anderson's Chapel, at Euchee ; Zion 
Church, at Perote ; Zion Church, at Columbus, Ga. He 
taught school in Derry's Chapel for a considerable time 
with one hundred and fifty pupils. At this place he went 
through untold suffering for God and Zion. The Ku- 
kluxes were ranging that section, whipping, shooting, 
hanging, and burning churches and schoolhouses. He 
was visited by them and ordered to leave the place, but 


he refused to obey men, choosing rather to obey God by 
holding his ground ; remained six years, and was the 
means of sending out seventy-five local and traveling 
preachers and brought in six hundred and twenty-five 
members — a total of seven hundred. 

In 1873 Brother Derry was appointed to Tuskegee, 
Ala. He held this charge four years, repaired the church 
at a cost of $240, built a schoolhouse out of his own 
pocket and gave it to the church. The normal school 
at Tuskegee began in that schoolhouse. 

He taught school at this place for four years, with an 
enrollment of two hundred and fifty scholars. He also 
established camp meetings, made arrangements with Mr. 
Ogletree for ten acres of ground, and built a shed 40 x 75 
feet on the same for camp meeting purposes. Thou- 
sands of people still gather there annually in camp meet- 
ing, and scores of souls have been happily converted on 
that ground. He planted Zion at Camp Hill and Opelika, 
Ala., and rebuilt the church at Tallassee. 

He was appointed to Butler's Chapel, Greenville, Ala., 
by Bishop J. P. Thompson ; here he greatly revived the 
church, taking in one hundred and seventy-five souls the 
first year ; he was also preparing to build a new church, 
but, being hindered, he launched out into the country 
and built two churches, one at Bragg's Hill and one at 
Snow Hill. Those that opposed him at Greenville did all 
in their power to keep him from succeeding, but in spite 
of them he filled the place with music, the result of 
which is seen to this day. 

The next year Bishop Thompson gave him a mission 
field, and at the end of the year he reported two churches 


that he had built. The following year he was left with- 
out an appointment ; he returned to Union Springs and 
taught school; from there he went to Midway, Ala., and 
taught a government school, then returned to Union 
Springs. Bishop Hood came to the district as presiding 
bishop, and found Rev. Derry teaching school in Derry's 
Chapel (African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church). The 
bishop told him to meet the Conference at Talladega, 
Ala., which he did, and was appointed pastor in- charge at 
Talladega (the Athens of the South, educationally speak- 
ing), Wesley's Chapel, and Anniston. He found the 
church at Talladega without a deed, but he secured one 
and had it properly recorded. He was next appointed 
presiding elder over the Evergreen District of the East 
Alabama Conference, to succeed Rev. W. G. Strong, 
presiding elder, who was transferred to the Florida 
Conference. He is one of the best organizers in the 
connection. He is a champion Sunday school worker and 
sound in the faith of the Methodist Church. He is a 
disciplinarian. Five times he has been a member of the 
General Conference: at Charlotte, N. C, 1872; Louis- 
ville, Ky., 1876; New York, 1884; New Berne, N. C, 
1888; Pittsburg, Pa., 1892. He assisted in organizing the 
following Conferences : Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. 
He claims to have built twenty churches, and to have 
baptized two thousand adults, and five hundred children. 

General Steward. 
John Wesley Alstork was born in Talladega, Ala., 
September 1, 1852. He attended school part of the year 


1867. In 1 863 he entered the Longwood Institute. 
Here he made such rapid advancement that he was soon 
given the position of assistant teacher. In 1871 he en- 
tered Talladega College. He joined the African Metho- 
dist Episcopal Zion Church in 1873. He married a most 
amiable and intelligent young lady, with whom he has 


liv.ed happily through the years since past. He was 
licensed to preach in 1878, and joined the Alabama Con- 
ference in 1879; was ordained a deacon in 1882 and 
elder in 1884. He built a church* in North Alabama 
during his first year. 

In 1882 he was appointed to the Opelika Station. 



During the two years he held this charge he added one 
hundred and thirty-seven to the membership, quite one 
hundred per cent increase. In 1884 he was appointed 
to Clinton Chapel, Montgomery, known as the Old Ship. 
It was thought by many to be a mistake on the part of 
the bishop to ordain ' ' that boy " and put him in charge of 
the biggest church in the Conference. Some had the im- 
pression that none but a distinguished elder, transferred 
from some other Conference, could follow Rev. C. C. 
Pettey in that charge. But the bishop thought he knew his 
man, and he wanted to teach that church that it could 
be supplied from the Alabama Conference. Moreover, the 
bishop had discovered that Alstork had the courage to 
teach the people that they were as much obliged to pay 
their connectional dues as they were to pay their local, 
and he determined to have a better showing from that 
church. It is, to a very large extent, the big elders 
who come short in connectional collections. They are so 
anxious to have the name of getting big salaries for 
themselves that they wink at the shortcomings of the 
church on connectional claims. The bishop believed, 
from what he had seen of Alstork, that he would look 
out for the connectional interests, and he was not dis- 
appointed. Alstork remained four years in the charge, 
and the amount of the general fund increased each year. 
His local work was also equal to that of any of his prede- 
cessors. He raised fourteen thousand dollars in the four 
years without resorting to entertainments. He paid off 
a heavy debt, and bought a parsonage worth three thou- 
sand dollars. He was made Conference Steward in 1883, 
and. continued to hold that position until he was elected 


General Steward. He was elected presiding elder in 
1889, and still holds that position. He has held many 
prominent positions in literary and social institutions- 
He was delegate to the General Conference in 1884, 
1888, and 1892. 

A short time before the last General Conference the 
writer intimated that Alstork stood fair for the bishopric 
Some thought it a very wild intimation, but it was dis- 
covered before the election came on that he developed 
amazing strength. In fact, at one time during the Gen- 
eral Conference it was doubtful whether it would be 
Clinton and Walters, Clinton and Alstork, or Walters and 
Alstork. A combination between the Clinton and Wal- 
ters men, and the agreement that Clinton's name should 
head the ticket, secured their election. Even then Al- 
stork was a close third man in the race, closer to Walters 
than Walters was to Clinton. No man in the connection 
has risen faster than Alstork, and his race has been safe 
and sure as well as rapid. 


Titus A. Weathington was born November 25, 1854, 
at Tallahassee, Fla., and is the twenty-second child and 
the twelfth son of Rev. George and Matilda Weathing- 
ton, slaves of Bryant Crooms. Was converted February 
22, 1876. Received in church February 28, 1876, Clinton 
Chapel (Old Ship), Rev. A. Hannon, pastor. Granted 
local preacher's license June 10, 1877. Joined the Ala- 
bama Conference December 12, at Selma, Ala. First 
appointment, Hilliard Chapel, Montgomery, Ala. Second 
appointment, Monroe, Walton County, Ga. Third ap- 



pointment, Barkeville, Ala. ; here his usefulness began 
as a minister of the Gospel. In the Conference of 1879 
he was ordained deacon at Big Zion Church, Mobile, Ala., 
by Bishop J. P. Thompson, M.D., D.D., and elder by the 
same in 1882 at Clinton Chapel, Montgomery, Ala. 


Fourth appointment, Hayneville Circuit, Hayneville, 
Ala. Fifth appointment, Evergreen Station ; two years 
under Bishop Thompson and two years under Bishop J. 
W. Hood. Sixth appointment, Mount Zion Station, un- 
der Bishop T. H. Lorriax, D.D., five years, 1886-91; 
here a magnificent church and parsonage were built to 
the glory of God, the honor of Zion, and the credit of 


the race, at a cost of $4,000, dedicated and paid for 
within nine months. Seventh appointment, Zion Star, 
Montgomery, Ala. ; he found this church $506.29 in 
debt; before the sitting - of the Conference of 1893 this 
debt was liquidated to $20. He served the East Alabama 
Conference consecutively for thirteen years as its record- 
ing .secretary. He was elected in 1888 financial secretary 
of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Sunday School 
Department. Reelected 1 892 . Was delegate to the second 
Ecumenical Conference, held in 1891 at "Washington, 
D. C. He was a candidate in 1888 at New Berne, N. C, 
for general secretaryship, and received fifty-four votes 
against Rev. William Howard Day, D.D. Has been a 
member of three General Conferences, in two of which 
he served as teller in the election of bishops and general 
officers. In the East Alabama Conference at Anniston, 
1893, he was unanimously elected presiding elder, and 
appointed to the Montgomery District. He was married 
in 1877 to Miss Mamie Drayton, daughter of Cyrus and 
Lavenia Drayton. They have three children, two boys 
and one girl. He is president of the Mechanicville Liter- 
ary Society, established by himself in i'< 


This Conference was organized by Bishop J. J. Clin- 
ton, on Wednesday, June 10, 1868. The following 
preachers were present : J. J. Moore, Adam Smith, 
J. B. Handy, W. B. Smith, J. B. Wilkenson, James C, 
Lodge, A. T. Rodgers, R. T. Hudson, and R. Bradford. 
There were three churches represented and one hundred 
and eighty members. For many years this Conference 


languished, owing to the mismanagement and miscon- 
duct of William H. Hilliary, who was by far the ablest 
man on the coast, and if he had made the best use of 
natural abilities he could have planted the Church 
wherever there were enough of the race for the purpose. 
But he failed, and when the work was visited by Bishop 
Lomax, in 1881, there were only the original number of 
three churches. When Rev. A. Walters was sent to that 
work he succeeded in strengthening the things which 
remained, which were ready to die ; and from that time 
there has been continual growth. Rev. C. C. Pettey fol- 
lowed with a considerable emigration from the East, and 
succeeded in planting several new churches, so that there 
are now sixteen traveling preachers and six hundred and 
fifty-five members. So hopeful is the work that the 
Oregon, a new Conference, has been set off. 


This Conference was organized by Bishop J. J. Clin- 
ton in Pensacola, April 22, 1869. There were thirteen 
preachers present and three hundred and forty-eight 
members reported. The growth of this Conference was 
slow. In 1882 only one thousand and thirty-seven mem- 
bers were reported. In 1888 Bishop Lomax was assigned 
to that work, and since that time the growth has been 
much more satisfactory. The South Florida, a new Con- 
ference, has been formed, and the increase on every line 
has been more than one hundred per cent. 

The old Conference is now known as the West Florida. 
The following is the present Conference roll : 

Bishop, Right Rev. T. H. Lomax, D.D. 


Presiding Elder, Rev. S. L. McDonnell. 

Elders, Revs. T. H. Darley, H.. Taylor, M. Stokes, S. 
W. Jackson, A. Robinson, I. L. Ferby, Simon Brown, 
J. M. Sims, W. H. Smith, B. F. Stevens, Wilson Perry, 
H. E. Jones. , 

Deacons, Revs. Joshna Edwards, Jacob Simons, J. D. 
Peterson, E. W. Morand, William Ardis. 

Licentiates, Revs. W. A. Neal, J. L. Cook, H. Graves, 
B. F. Mitchell, G. G. Hornsby, S. Allen, G. Powell, M. 
Godfree, S. L. Agger. 

Superannuated, Rev. Harrison Williams. 

Supernumerary, Joseph Linnix. 

Lay Delegates, E. P. West, Adam Reese. 

Conference Missionary, Sister M. V. Anderson. 


This Conference was organized by Bishop J. J. Clin- 
ton not later than 1871, possibly a little earlier.* It was 
represented in the General Conference at Charlotte, N. C. 
in 1872, by William Merphy, Grandison Simms, and 
Alexander Coleman. This Conference was the culmina- 
tion of two great efforts, the one, starting in New Berne, 
N. C, in 1864, and pushing out through East and West 
Tennessee into Mississippi, and the other, starting up 
from Louisiana and Alabama a little later, met and 
formed the West Tennessee and Mississippi Conference. 

The leading factor from the southern side was Rev. 
William Merphy, a man of wonderful energy. It is the 
impression with many that he traveled and preached him- 
self to death. But he did a great work while he was at it. 
* Have not been able to find a record. 


Another great worker in this Conference was Rev. L. 
J. Scurlock. He took up the work where Merphy laid 
it down, and was the leading spirit in the Conference for 
more than fifteen years. 

Rev. Alexander Coleman has also been one of the 
pillars of this Conference for more than twenty years. 
It has had gradual growth, but the unsettled state of 
things in that part of the country and the denial of civil 
and political rights to our people in that section have 
been a great hindrance to the growth of the Conference. 
It has recently been divided and the South Mississippi 
Conference formed. The roll of the West Tennessee 
and Mississippi Conference is as follows : 

Bishop, Right Rev. A. Walters, D.D. 

Ministers, Revs. J. P. Meacham, H. H. Bingham, D. 
Pitts, L. R. Brown, N. L. Lockey, W. C. Lewis, J. H. 
Miller, R. G. Gates, C. R. Anthony, B. E. Babannon, 
M. F. A. Easton, W. L. Carr, G. W. Rumage, J. W. 
Ruff, M. W. Waters, A. P. Pettey, G. W. Simms, A. 
M. White, E. D. Little, W. B. Bain, J. E. Jones, W. S. 


This energetic Presiding Elder of the South Mississippi 
Conference was born in 1861. He was licensed to exhort 
in 1879, was granted local preacher's license a year later, 
and joined the Annual Conference in 1881. He was or- 
dained a deacon by Bishop Jones the same year. His 
first appointment was Salem, Ala. By his labors 55 were 
added to the church the first year, 75 the second, 125 the 
third. There was also a large increase in general fund, 
$60 the first year and $135 the second year. This, in a 



Conference which only raised about $400 all told, was a 
large amount for one man. He was ordained elder in 
1883 and appointed to the Eureka Circuit; 64 members 
were added to the church, and $75 raised on general fund, 
which was more than had ever been raised on that circuit. 


In 1884 he was sent back to Salem, and 80 members were 
added to the church. In 1885 he was sent to Pope's Cir- 
cuit. He remained on this circuit three years, and im- 
proved it every year. Fifty-two members were added 
the first year, and $64 raised on general fund. The 
second year 99 members were added and $140 raised on 
general fund. He also ceiled the church at Pope's Sta- 


tion. The third year 127 were added to the church, 
and the general fund increased to $162.25. He built the 
Wesley Chapel, and ceiled the church at Courtland, Miss. 

In 1888 he was appointed to Batesville, Miss. During 
this year 91 members were added to the church and $156 
raised on general fund. He also seated the church at 

In 1889 he was nominated for presiding elder by 
Bishop Harris, was elected by the Conference, and ap- 
pointed to Batesville District. 

In 1890 he was appointed to the Canton District, where 
he was so successful that a new Conference was composed 
of that District, of which he is still the Presiding Elder. 

Brother Adams's opportunities for mental culture have 
been very poor, but he has made good use of what oppor- 
tunities he has had and is fairly well equipped. A good 
Christian character and untiring energy have made him 
a success. He was a delegate to the General Conference 
in Pittsburg in 1892, from the young Conference 
formed by his effort. He made a good impression in 
that body. He was ordained a deacon in the twentieth 
year of his age, an elder at twenty-two, and was made 
presiding elder at twenty-eight. Should he be blessed 
with long life the future historian will be likely to have 
something to say of him. 

The following historical sketch of the New Jersey Con- 
ference, from 1874 to 1893, is by Rev. B. F. Wheeler: 

In the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Seventh Street, Troy, 
N. Y., Wednesday evening, May 20, 1874, as the New York Conference 
was beginning its forty-second annual session, Bishop J. J. Clinton, the pre- 


siding bishop of the Conference, in his annual address to the Conference, 
among other important things said : " It must be apparent to the members 
of the Conference that the New York Conference is too large, and conse- 
quently ought to be divided. I would therefore recommend that the Con- 
ference at its present session appoint a committee on boundaries, whose 
business it shall be to set off the new district, to be called the New Jersey 
Conference." * 

In accordance with this recommendation a special committee was ap- 
pointed to consider the matter, and that committee subsequently reported 
in favor of setting off the new Conference, " the division line to run be- 
tween Long Island and Staten Island, and embracing the whole of New 
Jersey." The date for the organization of the new Conference was also 
fixed by the following resolution : 

Resolved, That the New Jersey Conference be organized at Red Bank, 
N. J., on Thursday, July 2, 1874.! 

First Session. — In accordance with the above resolution the New 
Jersey Conference met in its first annual session in Red Bank, N. J., on 
Thursday, July 2, 1874, at 4:30 P. M., with Bishop J. J. Clinton in the chair. 
Deacon J. A. Wright was elected secretary. Although the new Confer- 
ence embraced the whole of New Jersey and Staten Island, it has always 
been styled by the ministers composing it "the baby Conference." The 
following are the charter members of the Conference : 

Bishop, Right Rev. J. J. Clinton, D.D. 

Elders, Revs. Charles W. Robinson, Cyrus Oliver, L. B. Henry, Clinton 
Leonard, John A. Roberts, Samuel J. Berry, William H. Purnell, John A. 

Deacons, T. W. Johnson, J. A. Wright. 

Preachers, Anthony Jackson, John Smith, Henry Cook. 

Missio7iary Agent, M. G. Laning. 

There were three visiting brethren in attendance at this Conference, 
namely, Rev. H. M. Wilson, D.D., Rev. William H. Dumpson, and deacon 
J. P. Thompson, all from the New York Conference. There were also two 
fraternal delegates from the New York Conference to this Conference, in 
the persons of Rev. Jacob Thomas, in charge of " Mother Zion," New 
York city, and Rev. J. P. Thompson, M.D., in charge of the Zion Church 
at Troy, N. Y., afterward elected a bishop. Space will not allow a great 
deal to be said of these charter members. They were all, as a rule, grand 
and earnest men, and while we may not have space to praise them as they 
deserve they will each, no doubt, be surprised when they reach heaven to 
find how much the recording angel has set to their credit for their godly 
and zealous efforts in establishing this little Conference. 

* See New York Conference Minutes for 1874. 

+ See also Conference Minutes of New York Conference for 1874. 


Bishop J. J. Clinton, D.D., is affectionately remembered as the founder 
of the Conference. He was one of the grandest men our Church has pro- 
duced. * 

All the elders composing this Conference have since gone to their final 
reward with two exceptions, namely, " Father " Clinton Leonard and Rev. 
J. A. Roberts. " Father " Leonard is in New York at this writing (1894), 
loved and revered by all who know him. Rev. J. A. Roberts five years ago 
(1889) left the Church and joined a sister Church. Of those who have died 
Rev. Cyrus Oliver and Rev. S. J. Berry were especially noted for their 
great work as revivalists. Rev. Oliver did most of his work in the New 
Jersey Conference at the Jersey City church, which society he served two 
different terms with great success, from 1871 to 1874, and from 1876 to 
1878. He finally died in Jersey City in poverty. Rev. S. J. Berry, after 
preaching with good success for many years, finally died in Rahway, 1890, in 
most straitened circumstances. Rev. C. W. Robinson, Rev. L. B. Henry, 
Rev. William H. Purnell, and Rev. J. A. Evans were grand men, and died 
as might be expected, in the triumph of faith. 

Deacon J. W. Johnson was afterward ordained an elder, and became an 
active member in the Conference. The church at Trenton to a large 
extent was built by him, but not paid for by several hundred dollars. He 
improved the churches at Burlington, Red Bank, and Jersey City. 

Deacon J. A. Wright afterward joined another denomination. He was 
an earnest and intelligent man, and served the Church with credit while 
he remained in it. 

Preacher Anthony Jackson became an elder in the Church and was 
known throughout the Conference as a revivalist. His camp meetings in 
the summer months usually attracted very large crowds. He was a man 
of sunny disposition and was loved by his brethren. His last and best 
work was done at Hempstead, L. I., where he built the beautiful Zion 
Church, now standing as a monument to his active efforts in the closing 
years of his life. He died at Hempstead after his church was completed. 

Preachers John Smith and Henry Cook, after remaining members of the 
Conference for some time, finally dropped out without rising to the higher 
orders in the ministerial ranks. 

Missionary M. G. Laning, after, traveling a few years in our Church, left 
and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

This first session of the New Jersey Conference was a very short one, 
convening as it did Thursday afternoon at 4:30, and closing the following 
Monday ; yet some very important work was done. Special attention was 
given to the Sunday school work, a convention being called to meet the 
following October, by motion offered by Dr. Jacob Thomas.f This Sun- 

* See sketch o^his life on p. 172. 
+ See sketch of his life on p. 223. 


day school work started well, but fell through, so far as the conventions 
were concerned. It was reorganized and permanently established in 1890. 

Rev. Thomas Davis was received into the Conference from the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church this year, and transferred to the Philadelphia and 
Baltimore Conference. 

A literary society was formed by this Conference, and it proved a source 
of great benefit to the members for several years. It had for its name 
The Clinton Literary Society. It finally disbanded. 

The missionary work came in for its share of attention at this Con- 
ference. By resolution offered by Rev. W. H. Purnell, "each minister 
was required to organize societies in his charge for both adults and chil- 
dren." There were eleven appointments in the new Conference, and they 
were the following : Jersey City, Paterson, Somerville, Red Bank and 
Eatontown, Macedonia and Matawan, Lodi and Paramus, Rahway and 
Newark, Rossville and Port Richmond, West Field and Plainfield, Green- 
ville, and Hackensack. Of Dr. H. M. Wilson, Rev. William H. Dumpson, 
and Deacon J. P. Thompson, who visited this Conference at this first 
session, more will be said further on. 

This first, short but pleasant and profitable session of the New Jersey 
Annual Conference closed Monday afternoon, to meet in Rossville, S. I., 
second Wednesday in June, 1875. 

Second Session, 1875. — Although the Conference adjourned to meet 
in Rossville, S. I., it was changed to Red Bank, N. J. At Red Bank, 
then, on Wednesday, June 9, 1875, the Conference convened, with Bishop 
J. J. Clinton presiding. Rev. J. A. Wright, secretary. 

Among the new names that appear on the Conference roll this year are 
Elder Nelson Turpin, Deacon J. P. Thompson, and Preacher J. S. Cowles. 
Received on trial, Brother John H. White. 

Elder Turpin had been an active minister in the African Methodist 
Episcopal Church. He was stationed at Jersey City. While acknowledged 
by his brother ministers to be a good preacher, he was not a success in 
managing his church. He did not remain long in our Church, but returned 
to the African Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Deacon J. P. Thompson rapidly rose in the Conference, and soon be- 
came one of our great church builders. See account of him elsewhere. 
Some of the fields of his labors in this Conference are Paterson, Camden, 
Red Bank, and Asbury Park ; outside the Conference, Philadelphia, 
Washington, York, Pa., St. Louis, and Indianapolis, Ind. 

Preacher J. S. Cowles came from the New England Conference, was 
admitted into this Conference in full connection, was ordained a deacon 
and made collecting agent for the Rush Monument this year. He did not 
remain in the Conference long, but soon rose to distinction in the Church, 
having filled some of the most important charges in the Church. Of a 


sunny disposition, affable and gentlemanly in his manners, he is favor- 
ably known throughout the Church. Brother John H. White, who was 
received on trial this year, was soon received into full connection, and has 
remained in the Conference ever since. He has filled many charges with 
acceptability in the Conference. Gentlemanly in his bearing, deliberate in 
judgment, he stands well with his brother ministers. 

The highest amount received by any minister this year was $600 
paid by the Jersey City church, and the lowest amount $30, paid by the 
mission point, Freehold. The Conference adjourned to meet in Jersey City. 

Third Session, 1876. — This session met in Jersey City, with Bishop 
Clinton in the chair. A most interesting session this proved to be, and 
much good, solid work was accomplished. Jersey City was the leading 
station in the Conference. 

Fourth Session. — The fourth session met in Somerville, N. J., 1877. 
The Conference convened at four o'clock in the afternoon. Bishop J. J. 
Moore, D.D., was the presiding bishop this year, and Rev. J. H. White 
secretary. Rev. Charles W. Robinson was bishop's steward, an office which 
was long since displaced by our present Conference steward. Of the pre- 
siding bishop of the Conference this year we would like to say a great deal 
here, but the fact that his life is treated at length elsewhere in this History 
prevents us. While Bishop Clinton is appropriately styled the founder of 
the Conference, Bishop Moore, because of the many years he presided over 
the Conference, is instinctively thought of as a father, if not the father, of the 
Conference. For eleven years he presided over the Conference and was 
greatly loved by the brethren, as were all the bishops who have presided 
over the Conference. Elders J. A. Williams, Jacob Trusty, John H. Jones, 
and T. W. H. Hinton appear for the first time on the roll of member- 
ship this year. Elders Williams and Trusty have long since died. Elder 
Trusty was one of the active ministers of the Conference during his short 
stay in the Conference. He soon transferred to the Philadelphia and 
Baltimore Conference, where most of his work was accomplished. 

Rev. John H. Jones, after traveling a few years in this Conference, 
located within the bounds of the New York Conference, to which he sub- 
sequently transferred. He is still living at this writing (1894), and is full 
of the oldtime fire, which is very manifest when warmed up in preaching. 

Rev. T. W. H. Hinton, after serving the Church with credit in the Phila- 
delphia and Baltimore Conference, transferred to the New Jersey Conference 
and filled many charges with credit to himself and the Conference. He 
finally lost both his sight and hearing. He is now on the superannuated 
list. He resides at Somerville, his last charge, where he enjoys the respect 
and sympathy of the whole community. Deacons Israel Jackson, Moses 
K. Harris, and Preachers Joseph D. Jackson and William Brogdon appear 
on the roll this year. None of these brethren remained long in the Con- 


ference, but soon returned, most of them to serve their respective churches 
in local capacity. 

Fifth Session, 1878.— The fifth session convened at Trenton. Bishop 
Moore was the presiding bishop, and Rev. J. H. White secretary. 

Elders Adam Jackson, W. J. Dorsey, and Deacon James Pinion were 
the new members received this year. 

Rev. Adam Jackson had transferred from the New York Conference. He 
is a man of pleasant address and a good preacher. After serving with ac- 
ceptance several churches in this Conference, he returned to the New York 
Conference. He was loved by his brother ministers in this Conference. 
Elder W. J. Dorsey did not remain long in the Conference. 

Deacon James Pinion came to this Conference from the Philadelphia 
and Baltimore Conference. He built the beautiful little chapel at Fleming- 
ton in 1879. He afterward became a superannuated preacher and resided 
at Pine Brook until 1892, when he died. 

Sixth Session, 1879. — The sixth annual session convened at Camden 
with Bishop Moore in the chair. Preacher D. D. Brown was elected 
secretary. After attending to the usual business, the Conference ad- 
journed to meet in Burlington. Asbury Park was admitted as a new 
society this year. 

Seventh Session, 1880. — This seventh annual session convened at 
Burlington with Bishop Moore in the chair and Rev. J. H. White secretary. 
Several new members appear on the roll this year. Among them were 
Revs. W. H. Griffiths, Abram Anderson, T. H. Harris, and J. H. Hector, 
and Deacons Daniel F. Bradley and J. C. Palmer. 

Rev. W. H. Griffiths was a strong man intellectually, and a most pow- 
erful preacher. In fact, he had but few equals as a pulpit orator among 
the race, but he was indiscreet in conversation, hasty in conclusions, and 
rash in action, and his impetuous temperament brought him no small de- 
gree of trouble. He did not remain long in our Church. Having been 
stationed at Jersey City, trouble arose between him and the church, which 
resulted in his withdrawal from our Church to join the African Methodist 
Episcopal Church. Rev. Abram Anderson served as the first regular 
presiding elder of the Conference. He remained but a short time in the 
Conference. He transferred to the New York Conference. 

Rev. T. H. Harris came from the Philadelphia and Baltimore Confer- 
ence. He is still living, and is one of the oldest members in the Church. 
He is a practical preacher, severe in discipline. He is loved by his younger 
brethren in the ministry. He is a superannuated preacher now, residing in 
his own home in Burlington, N. J. 

Rev. J. H. Hector is an active worker, humorous in disposition, and a 
ready talker. His time is spent mostly in the temperance work. Were 
his time given entirely to the ministry he would, no doubt, soon take a 


high place among the clergy of the Church. He transferred to the Phila- 
delphia and Baltimore Conference after spending a few years in the New 
Jersey Conference. 

Deacon D. F. Bradley came from the New England Conference. He 
filled several leading appointments in the Conference, and in 1892 trans- 
ferred to the Philadelphia and Baltimore Conference. 

Deacon J. C. Palmer was a man of studious habits, a devout Christian, 
and would doubtless have arisen to distinction in the Conference had he 
not died so soon, at Pine Brook, N. J., in 1883. 

Eighth Session, 1881. — Bishop J. J. Moore was the presiding 
bishop of the eighth annual session, which met at Red Bank. Rev. J. C. 
Palmer was the secretary. The reports for this year's work show that im- 
provements were being made in all departments of the Conference work. 

Ninth Session, 1882. — The ninth session convened in Camden, April 
19, 1882, with Bishop Moore as the chairman and Rev. J. C. Palmer secre- 
tary. This year brought to the Conference Elders William H. Dumpson, 
H. M. Wilson, D.D., G. W. Brown* and J. T. Marshall. 

Rev. William H. Dumpson, though appearing for the first time on the 
Conference roll as a member, was not unknown to the Conference. He 
is one of the veterans in the Church, having spent most of his time in the 
New York Conference. He is a good, spiritual preacher, a hard worker, 
and full of old-time Methodist fire. He is still in the active pastorate. 

Dr. H. M. Wilson was a man of pronounced scholarship, an indefati- 
gable worker, a polished gentleman, easy in manners, affable in address, a 
good conversationalist, and a devout Christian. He had been educated as 
a Presbyterian minister, but early joined our Church. He was for years 
connected with our Book Concern. He filled important charges in the New 
York Conference, and also in this Conference. His crowning effort was 
the erection of our Newark church on Pennington Street. He died just 
as he had finished this church, in 1889. He was loved by all who knew 
him. Rev. G. W. Brown was from the Presbyterian Church, Savannah, 
Ga., and was sent to the church at Newark from this Conference. 

Rev. J. T. Marshall entered the Conference three years earlier as a 
preacher. Silas Holmes, as far back as 1881, appears on the Conference 
roll as missionary agent. He holds this place up to this writing. 

T. T. B. Reed and H. S. Hicks appear as preachers this year. They 
did not remain long in the Conference, but located. Up to this date, 1882, 
there had been no presiding elders in the Conference, but this year the 
Conference was divided into two presiding elder districts, and Dr. H. M. 
Wilson and Rev. J. P. Thompson placed in charge. They had their reg- 
ular charges from which they drew their salaries. They visited the 
churches in their districts as time and opportunity would allow. 

Tenth Session, 1883. — The Conference met this year in Jersey City. 


A new presiding officer occupied the chair this year in the person of Bishop 
J. P. Thompson, M.D., D.D. He is a man of commanding presence, an 
ardent lover of his Church, and a successful financier.* Rev. J. C. Palmer 
was elected secretary. 

Eleventh Session, 1884. — Conference convened this year at Trenton, 
with Bishop J. P. Thompson in the chair, and Rev. D. F. Bradley secretary. 
The new members this year were Elders P. L. Stanford, E. Hamet, A. A. 
DeFord ; Deacons M. M. Edmonson, J. Tilghman ; Preachers R. F. Butler 
and F. E. Owens. 

Rev. P. L. Stanford, while a new member in the Conference, had been 
preaching for many years in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. 
He is happy and congenial as a companion and a man of deep-seated piety. 

Elder Hamet also came from the African Methodist Episcopal Church. 
Though coming into the Conference a comparative stranger to many, 
by his high Christian character, his untiring and successful labors in every 
charge he has had since entering the Conference, he has succeeded in 
making a most favorable impression on all his brother ministers. He 
built the beautiful church at Pine Brook. 

Deacon Morris M. Edmonson joined the Conference in 1882, and was 
ordained an elder in 1886. Beginning at the very bottom of the ministerial 
ranks, he has by hard work and studious habits risen to be one of the 
principal members of the Conference. He has not only filled successfully 
some of the leading charges in the Conference, but has been one of the 
leading spirits in all the Conference interests, such as missionary, church 
extension, and Sunday school work. 

Preacher R. F. Butler, joining the Conference this year, was ordained 
elder in 1888. He has been a hard worker since joining the Conference, 
and has made a success of all the points to which he has been appointed. 
He gave the Hackensack church its present beautiful appearance. Of a 
happy disposition, he is well thought of by his brethren. 

Preacher F. E. Owens was ordained an elder in 1888. He is a man of 
a studious cast of mind, and has served the Conference several times as 
statistical secretary. He is an active worker, and loved by his comrades 
in the ministry. Rev. J. H. White was appointed Presiding Elder of First 
District this year. Rev. J. P. Thompson retained the Second District. 
Bishop Thompson had associated with him this year that far-sighted, clear- 
headed, logical thinker, Bishop J. W. Hood, D.D., who has but few, if any, 
equals among Afro- American bishops as a presiding officer, t 

Twelfth Session, 1885. — This session was held at Red Bank, with 
Bishop Thompson presiding, and Rev. D. F. Bradley secretary. The new 
members were Elders W. T. Biddle and E. M. Stanton, Deacons J. F. Rob- 
inson and Fillmore Smith, Preacher A. J. Reed. 

*See cut and sketch of his life on p. 188. t See sketch of his life on p. 186. 



Rev. William T. Biddle came from the Genesee Conference. He has 
long been known as one of the best preachers, not only in the Conference, 
but in the Church. He joined the itinerancy in i860, and was ordained an 
elder two years later. He is a logical thinker and strong debater, and well 
informed on ecclesiastical law. 

Rev. E. M. Stanton came from the Philadelphia and Baltimore Confer- 
ence. A devout Christian, a hard student, a polished gentleman, he 
stands well in the Conference. His sermons are plain but practical. He 
is at this writing the Conference steward. 

Deacon J. F. Robinson, a bright and intelligent young man, was ordained 
elder the next year, 1886. He did good service in the Church for six 
years, and then joined the Baptist Church. 

Deacon Fillmore Smith was ordained elder in 1886. He possesses a 
good deal of originality, is a fluent talker and a good debater. He has 
done some good work in the Conference, his principal work being done 
in Paterson. 

Preacher A. J. Reed did not remain long in the Conference. 

The presiding eldership as arranged prior to this date was this year 
abandoned, and Rev. Abram Anderson was appointed the regular presiding 
elder over the entire Conference. 

Thirteenth Session, 1886. — This session met at Atlantic City. This 
was the first time Atlantic City had the chance to entertain the Confer- 
ence. Bishop Thompson was the chairman, and Rev. M. M. Edmonson 
secretary. The usual Conference business was attended to. 

Fourteenth Session, 1887. — The Conference met this year in Asbury 
Park, Bishop Moore presiding, and Rev. M. M. Edmonson secretary. 
Bishop Hood associated with Bishop Moore this year. 

Rev. J. H. Barnes appears on the roll for the first time this year. There 
were several young preachers who joined this year. Among them were 
G. H. Cole, M. T. Anderson, P. H. Tinson, W. H. Way man, A. Watson. 

Rev. G. H. Cole was ordained a deacon in 1890 and an elder in 1893. 
He is an active worker, and has succeeded well wherever sent. He built a 
beautiful church at Park Ridge. M. T. Anderson was ordained deacon in 
1892. He is an earnest and faithful worker, and has succeeded in building 
a neat little chapel at Ridgewood. 

P. H. Tinson was ordained a deacon in 1890. He is an earnest and 
faithful worker. The regular presiding eldership was disposed of this 
year and the old system restored, with the exception that the Conference 
was now divided into four districts instead of two. 

Fifteenth Session, 1888. — At Hackensack the Conference met for 
the first time this year. Bishop Moore was the chairman, and Rev. W. T. 
Biddle was secretary. 

Rev. J. B. Saunders was the only new member this year. He came 


from the Philadelphia and Baltimore Conference. He has filled sev- 
eral appointments in the Conference. He is loved by his brother min- 

Sixteenth Session, 1889. — This session convened at Paterson. The 
new members were Revs. G. H. Carl, J. F. Page, G. H. W. Smith, and 
B. F. Wheeler. Elder Page came from the Virginia Conference, and 
transferred before the year was out to the Philadelphia and Baltimore 
Conference. Rev. G. H. Carl came to us from the Baptist Church ; after 
serving a year or two in the itinerancy he located at Asbury Park. Rev. 
G. H. W. Smith had been a member of several different Conferences in our 
Church. He was stationed at Flemington, of which Rev. B. F. Wheeler 
had the oversight. He was expelled from the Church at the next session 
of the Conference at Trenton. Rev. B. F. Wheeler had been a member 
of the Philadelphia and Baltimore Conference. He studied four years in 
Oberlin Preparatory School ; had finished his college course at Lincoln 
University, and was now a student in Drew Theological Seminary, Madi- 
son, N. J., in his senior year. He took charge of the Somerville work. 
He joined the itinerancy in 1885. 

Seventeenth Session, 1890. — This year the Conference met in 
Trenton, April 16, 1890. Bishop Moore was the chairman, and Rev. B. F. 
Wheeler was elected secretary. Rev. John G. Urling was added to the 
Conference roll this year. He had been a missionary in Demerara for twenty- 
five years. He had been placed in charge of the church at Newark, at the 
death of Dr. H. M. Wilson, during the interval of the Conference. Fie 
transferred this year from the New Jersey to the Genesee Conference. 
Elder Urling is a good Hebrew scholar, affable and gentlemanly in his 

Eighteenth Session, 1891.— At Camden, Wednesday, April 22, 1891, 
Bishop Moore called the Conference to order. Rev. B. F. Wheeler was 
elected secretary. Rev. J. A. D. Bloice joined the Conference this year. 
He had transferred from the Philadelphia and Baltimore Conference. He 
is the first graduate from Livingstone College, is now a student in Union 
Theological Seminary. He began to preach in 1885, was ordained an 
elder in 1888. He is an able preacher and a devout Christian. 

At this session four presiding elders were abandoned and one presiding 
elder placed over the whole work. Rev. J. H. White was elected to that 

Nineteenth Session, 1892. — The Conference convened this year in 
Somerville, with Bishop Moore in the chair and Rev. J. A. D. Bloice 
secretary. The new members this year were Elder E. Forman, Deacon 
J. H. Mason, Preachers L. G. Mason, Louis Hicks, and E. C. Black. 

Elder Forman came from Genesee Conference, and after one year's good 
work at Matawan transferred to the New York Conference. 


Deacon J. H. Mason had been a member of the Philadelphia and Balti- 
more Conference. He was ordained an elder at this Conference and 
assigned to Pine Brook and Reveytown churches. He did good service 
there, but the next year, 1893, was sent to Newark. His efforts at Newark 
have been very successful. 

Preacher L. G. Mason is a brother to Elder J. H. Mason. He ac- 
complished a good work at Englewood, his first charge, having purchased 
a lot and built a beautiful little chapel there, most of it paid for. The 
church, however, was not entirely finished inside. He was ordained a 
deacon next year and warmly praised by the Committee on Ministerial 
Studies for the proficiency he showed in his studies. 

Louis Hicks located this year. 

E. C. Black has continued in the Conference up to date, and is loved by 
brethren especially on account of his good spiritual singing. 

Twentieth Session, 1893. — This session met at Burlington, April 26, 
with Bishop J. P. Thompson, M.D., D.D., the presiding bishop. Bishop 
Thompson being unable to be present on account of sickness, Bishop 
J. W. Hood, D.D., LL.D., was requested to preside, which he did. Bishop 
Alexander Walters, D.D., was associated with Bishop Hood. Rev. J. A. D. 
Bloice was elected secretary. The new members were Elders C. E. 
Steward, J. T. Tilghman, Luther Duffin, and Preacher R. S. Cottene. 

There being no regular appointment for Elder Steward he did not 
remain idle, but organized a good and flourishing society in Bayonne 
City, N. J. 

Elder Duffin came from the Union Church, and was during the interval 
of the Conference placed in charge of the church at Asbury Park. 

Preacher R. S. Cottene came to the ministerial ranks with a good deal 
of experience in finance and real estate, and will no doubt succeed well in 
the ministry. He has greatly improved the church in Englewood, and 
bids fair to keep up the good record he has made thus far. 

The New Jersey Conference, though one of the smallest in the Church, 
has always been an aggressive body. 

The Sunday school work began when the Conference was organized. 
But that work soon went down so far as its annual conventions were con- 
cerned. It was reorganized and firmly established in 1890. Rev. B. F. 
Wheeler was elected president successively for the years 1890, 1891, 1892, 
1893, and Rev. E. M. Stanton president for the year 1894. 

The Church Extension Board has been in operation in the Conference 
for many years. That and the Missionary Society were united in the year 
1882, at Red Bank, and from that time these two branches of our Church 
work have been run as regularly incorporated bodies. The present officers 
of this incorporated body are Rev. William T. Biddell, President ; Rev. 
M. M. Edmonson, Treasurer ; Rev. J. B. Saunders, Secretary ; Rev. B. F. 


Wheeler, President Board of Trustees. For many years Mrs. Letitia 
Clinton, widow of the late Bishop Clinton, was Vice President of the 
Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society, but this amiable mother 
in Israel having died, Mrs. Katie Walters, wife of Bishop Walters, was in 
1893 elected to that office, which she still holds with great credit to her- 
self and the Church. 

Up to date, 1893, three bishops have had regular charge of the Con- 
ference : Bishop Clinton, 1 874-1 876 ; Bishop Moore, 1877-1882; Bishop 
Thompson, 1883-1886; Bishop Moore, 1887-1892 ; Bishop Thompson, 
1893. Fifty-two elders have been members of the Conference, sixteen 
of whom were ordained by this Conference, twenty-eight were ordained 
before joining the Conference, and eight were charter members. 

The time and place of convening of the Conference, with the bishop and 
secretary of each session, are as follows : 






Red Bank. 

J. J. Clinton. 

J. A. Wright. 


Red Bank. 


J. Clinton. 

J. A. Wright. 


Jersey City. 


J. Clinton. 




J. Moore. 

J. H. White. 




J. Moore. 

J. H. White. 




J. Moore. 

D. D. Brown. 




J. Moore. 

J. H. White. 


Red Bank. 


J. Moore. 

J. C. Palmer. 




J. Moore. 

J. C. Palmer. 


Jersey City. 


P. Thompson. 

J. C. Palmer. 




P. Thompson. 

D. F. Bradley. 


Red Bank. 


P. Thompson. 

D. F. Bradley. 


Atlantic City. 


P. Thompson. 

M. M. Edmonson. 


Asbury Park. 


J. Moore. 

M. M. Edmonson. 




J. Moore. 

W. T. Biddle. 




J. Moore. 

D. F. Bradley. 




J. Moore. 

B. F. Wheeler. 




J. Moore. 

B. F. Wheeler. 




J. Moore. 

J. A. D. Bloice. 




. P. Thompson. 

J. A. D. Bloice. 


Churches 16 

Members 544 

Probationers 138 

Sabbath School Scholars . . . 427 

Volumes in Library 1,690 

Value Church Property $22,000 


Churches 22 

Members 975 

Probationers 33 

Sabbath School Scholars. ... 1,186 

Volumes in Library 3,927 

Value Church Property $40,645 

39 6 


We give below the Conference appointments for the years 1874 and 1893 





Jersey City. 


Jersey City. 








Somerville and Flemington. 


Red Bank and Eatontown. 


Red Bank. 


Macedonia and Matawan. 


Pine Brook and Reveytown. 


Lodi and Paramus. 


Lodi and Park Ridge. 


Railway and Newark. 




Rossville and Port Richmond. 




Westfield and Plainfield. 






Asbury Park. 







Atlantic City. 








Timbucto and Kincora. 



The subject of this sketch was born in Charlotte, N. C, 
February 6, 1854. He was born again in Mother Zion 
Church, New York, January 20, 1876. When a child 
he was baptized in Clinton Chapel, Charlotte, N. C, of 
which church all his relatives were members, He was 
a Sabbath school scholar at Clinton Chapel under Elder 
J. W. Hood, now bishop. He has now in his possession 
books given him at that time by that distinguished divine 
for excellence in Sunday school work. These books he 
cherishes highly. Always of self-reliant cast of mind, he 
early left home to make his own living and " to get rich." 
He had attended the free schools at Charlotte, conducted by 
the friends at the North. He was always fond of worldly 
pleasure, and into it he plunged with all the ardor of his 
soul. In 1874 he came to New York. This he did against 



the strong protest of friends and relatives at home, who 
knew too well of his worldly inclinations. In New York 
he soon gathered around him a large circle of friends 
nearly as worldly as himself, from the South, especially 


from the " Old North State." Of these young men whom 
he gathered around him for social pleasure the place of 
leader was at once accorded to him because of the un- 
bridled audacity with which he plunged into sin. In the 


midst of his wild revelings he was converted in Zion 
Church, New York, in 1876, Rev. J. H. Smith then pastor. 
He at once felt called to preach. He did not stop hunt- 
ing up his old comrades until every one of them had been 
brought into the fold. The pressure of his call to preach 
became so great that he resolved to obey at once. But he 
felt that he sadly lacked the qualifications for the minis- 
try of to-day. Hence he decided upon taking a thorough 
course of training for the work ; he went to Oberlin and 
entered the preparatory department of that school in 
1877. The first year was devoted to English branches. 
Then he went through the regular junior, middle, and 
senior classes of the classical preparatory department. 
One more year was spent in reviewing certain branches 
over which he had gone. The hardest pecuniary struggles 
of his life were experienced while at Oberlin in trying to 
pay his own way through school with what money he 
could earn during the summer vacation of two and a half 
months. It often happened that on returning to school 
by the time he paid up expenses and debts of the preceding 
year he would not have money enough to matriculate. 
But he worked for his board, sawing wood in the middle 
of winter from four o'clock in the morning, by candle 
light, until day ; and by getting credit for his room rent 
and other necessary expenses he would pull through the 
school year. For months he would be without even a 
penny with which to send a postal card home. But it 
was no disgrace to be poor at Oberlin. Most of the 
students were poor, ninety-two per cent of whom were 
white. He never told any of his friends at home or else- 
where of his dreadfully straitened circumstances. He now 


regards those days of adversity as not among the least 
agencies in fitting him for the stern realities of life. He 
entered the sophomore class at Lincoln University in 
1883 and graduated with the class of 1885 with the degree 
of A.B., and pronounced the oration in Greek on class 
day. He entered the theological department of the same 
school the next year, and while pursuing his studies in 
theology was engaged by the faculty as tutor in Greek in 
the preparatory department. He was licensed to preach 
in 1884, was received into the Philadelphia and Balti- 
more Conference in 1885, ordained deacon in 1886, and 
elder in 1888. He graduated with the degree of S.T.B. 
In the fall of 1888 he entered the senior class of Drew 
Theological Seminary and graduated with the degree of 
B.D. He was delegate to the General Conference in 1888 
and 1892. His success at Summerville has been mar- 


This Conference was organized by Bishop J. P. 
Thompson, December 16, 1877. Wilbur G. Strong, who 
attended the bishop in nearly all his efforts in the far South, 
was also present with Bishop Thompson at the organiza- 
tion of this Conference. There were fourteen ministers 
present, several of whom were from the Florida Confer- 
ence. Eleven hundred and seventy-four members were 
reported. Below we give the roll of Conference member- 
ship : 

Elders, Joseph Sexton, W. C. Vesta, G. W. Maize, 
W. A. Bain, J. R. Harris, J. M. Sims. 

Deacons, R. R. Frederick, James Dudley, W. J. San- 
ders, A. Long. 


Preachers, H. E. Jones, A. L. Higgs, R. W. Ballard, 
J. D. Ballard. 

Candidates, J. H. Jordan, J. F. Fobbs, D. E. White, 
H. W. White. 


This Conference was organized by Bishop Lomax in 
the city of Detroit, Mich., September n, 1879. The 
number of preachers present was thirty-two. Four 
hundred and ninety-nine members were reported. This 
was the second effort to organize a Conference in Canada. 
At the General Conference in 1 860 there was a delegation 
from Canada, which indicates that there was at least the 
nucleus of a Conference at that time. But when the great 
Southern field was thrown open to our efforts the work 
in the British domain was neglected, and it was not until 
we had began to reap a harvest of preachers from the 
Southern field that we were able to take up that work 
again. Bishop Lomax was decidedly successful, but un- 
fortunately he was not continued long enough on that 
work, and it is languishing again. In fact, this is one of 
the very few points in the entire connection that is not 
showing satisfactory progress. The roll of members at 
the organization was as follows : 

Bishop, T. H. Lomax. 

Presiding Elders, D. Butler, J. R. Alexander, J. B. 
Holliday, R. M. Johnson. 

Deacons, A. Tol, G. W. Gordon, G. Solomon, N. Scoles, 
S. Stevens, T. J. C. Green, T. T. Brown, J. Cornelius. 

Preachers, W. B. Campbell, I. Sisco, William Fleming, 
A. Wilson. 



This is the fifth offspring of the North Carolina Con- 
ference. It was set off and formed in the last week in 
November, 1879, by Bishop J. W. Hood. It included 
about twenty-five counties west of Raleigh and east of the 
Blue Ridge Mountains. The colored people are not so 
numerous in that part of the State as they are in the sec- 
tion occupied by the mother Conference. But the larger 
portion of the young and more progressive men went 
with the new Conference. Besides this, in the central 
portion of the State there is less opposition. In some of 
the counties in the east the Baptists are strong. It is not 
so much so in the section occupied by the Central Con- 
ference. Besides this, the African Methodist Episcopal 
(Bethel) Church has a strong hold in the east. The main 
strength of that Church in the State is in the vicinity of 
Wilmington and Raleigh. 

In most of the section covered by the Central Confer- 
ence that Church is hardly known. There is nowhere in 
the connection a better behaved set of ministers than those 
of the Central Conference. They express themselves on 
any subject in Conference readily and freely, but do not 
waste time. It is very seldom that a member of that 
Conference rises to speak unless he has something to 
say and something that is worth saying. Quiet dignity 
is the characteristic of these ministers. A dignified 
Christian ministerial bearing is their apparent aim. This 
Conference has also an offspring, namely, the Western 
North Carolina Conference, which has reduced it to 
about half its former size. It has now four presiding 


elders' districts, presided over by able and energetic men. 
Elder Hill, the senior presiding elder of the Conference, 
was always a favorite pastor, and could stay any number of 
years. Although he is not so fond of the position of pre- 
siding elder, yet he makes a most excellent officer. Elder 
Thomas's ambition is to be excelled by none, and he will 
keep the man busy who excels him. Elder Mattocks as a 
pastor has long been known as one of the best disciplina- 
rians in the State, and there is no doubt of his success 
in his new field. Elder George H. Miles is well equipped, 
and ought to succeed. The following is the roll of the 
Conference for 1892 and 1893: 

Presiding Bishop, Right Rev. J. J. Moore, D.D. 

Presiding Elders, Revs. James M. Hill, John W. 
Thomas, John H. Mattocks, George H. Miles. 

Annual Conference Steward, Rev. M. S. Kell. 

Secretary, Rev. J. T. Gibbons. 

Recording Secretary, Rev. S. J. Hargrave. 

Statistical Secretary, Rev. G. R. Morris. 

Episcopal Secretary, Rev. W. J. Sides. 

Compiler, Rev. J. M. Hill. 

Fraternal Delegate, Rev. C. D. Hazel. 

Elders, Revs. J. E. McNeill, R. M. Thompson, A. M. 
Barrett, W. H. Goler, D.D., C.W. Simmons, J. H. Love, 
W. H. Waddill, T. B. McCain, J. S. Settle, W. R. 
Hunter, J. W. Harris, A. J. McDonald, R. Hasty, D. A. 
Williams, G. B. Kelly, R. C. Moore, D. A. Kelly, G. W. 

Deacons, Revs. W. B. Gordon, M. G. Gains, C. B. 
Fletcher, Kanest Gibson, W. J. Gains, W. O. Waddell, 
T. H. Stevenson, R. L. Edwards, A. S. Hubbard, W. D. 


Dickerson, I. A. Cameron, Dennis Hogans, Jr., C. P. 
S. Harrison, N. B. Stelly, W. A. Darwin, H. C. Cham- 
bers, D. G. Howie, W. H. Davenport, J. F. Torrence, 
S. J. Hargrave, G. W. Williams, Jack Murchison, C. R. 
Leak, C. McNeill, John J. Stitt, James Mask, E. B. Ben- 
nett, D. W. Smith, J. B. Bailey, R. H. Bright, R. Allen, 
G. Sneed, J. C. Cox. 

Preachers, Brothers A. J. McNeill, B. J. Walker, G. 
W. Richardson, D. H. Little, M. G. Wadkins. 

Delegates, Professors E. B. Wall, R. A. Simmons, 

Watkins. Brothers H. G. Moose, M. P. Thompson, 

G. W. McDougald. 


Mr. Warren C. Coleman was born a slave in Cabarrus 
County, N. C, on March 25, 1849. His boyhood was 
not eventful before emancipation, except it might be 
noted that he learned the shoemaker's trade and under 
the compulsion of a slave pursued the same to some ex- 
tent in the interest of the Confederate cause. Being a 
minor at the emancipation, he was detained as a bound 
boy, and was required to perform the most menial and 
laborious work. This undoubtedly contributed to arouse 
his ambition to find a way to better things for himself, or 
to resolve, if he could not find a way, he would make one. 
Mr. Coleman very early manifested that tact in business 
which has characterized his success along that line in 
later years. After reaching his majority for a while he 
engaged himself variously in trading and peddling, and 
with varying results, all the while evincing an insight 
into business methods that was sure to gain success by 


one Hundred years of the 

being cherished and developed. He concluded to set up 
a barber shop in connection with a bakery, a somewhat 
novel combination, but all along the line of Mr. Cole- 
man's nature — that is, his life, must be active and reflect- 
ive of perseverance. Perseverance has been a prominent 
characteristic of the man, and this, coupled with a trust- 


worthy intelligence, has brought him the " future good, 
and future meed." In 1870 he went to Alabama, but re- 
turned in 1 87 1, in the meantime receiving instruction in 
books from his former young master, William M. Cole- 
man. After returning from Alabama, Mr. Coleman 
followed farming, but it was apparent his calling lay 
upon a more select if not a higher plane of activity, and, 
at the suggestion of his former young master, he went in 


1873 to Howard University, bearing a recommendation 
from Bishop J. W. Hood and reaching the university 
at the close of the session. The surprise which this last 
clause must certainly arouse would suggest that up to 
this time Mr. Coleman had not made sufficient acquaint- 
ance with literary affairs to know the order of school 
terms and sessions. But, nothing daunted, he holds on, 
inspired by his characteristic intelligent perseverance, 
and enters at the opening of the next session. He had 
not money sufficient to bear his expenses, and was there- 
fore under necessity to support himself by extra service 
on the school grounds. For this Mr. Coleman was well 
prepared by temperament and otherwise. He also made 
some money while there by selling jewelry and articles 
in kind. It is in the field of barter and trade that the 
subject of our sketch finds his most attractive and effect- 
ive school. In 1874 he returned to Concord. 

Of course Mr. Coleman found it necessary to do what 
most successful men have done, namely, take to himself 
a helpmeet in the struggle of life, and accordingly mar- 
ried in the fall of 1875. Mrs. Coleman has been a crown- 
ing addition to Mr. Coleman's equipment, which has 
given him the honorable and successful career that has 
attended him since his marriage. He at once secured a 
home and began purchasing lots and building houses. 
This he has continued to do until he carries on his reg- 
ular renting list over one hundred houses. This fact 
speaks for itself, and affords an example that should be a 
constant stimulus and encouragement to the entire 
colored race. The subject of our sketch has extended 
his substantial acquisitions to a much wider range. He 


has purchased and owns excellent farms, and has 
equipped them with stock and other appurtenances nec- 
essary to progressive agriculture. 

Mr. Coleman entered the field to which he is specially 
adapted — merchandise. In this he has been very suc- 
cessful. In 1885, when he was burned out, he was ac- 
knowledged to be among the foremost dealers and 
business men of Concord. In this fire he lost outright 
seven thousand dollars. He had not one cent of insur- 
ance, but the rapidity and permanent success with which 
he re-established himself in the same business places him 
among our heroes. 

In 1 88 1 he became a stockholder in the North Caro- 
lina Industrial Association, an organization for stimulat- 
ing laudable endeavors among the colored people in 
North Carolina along the line of agriculture, mechan- 
ical arts, and general handicraft. He became at once an 
active member of the association and a large and varied 
contributor to its annual exhibits. His devotion to the 
good of the association continually promoted him on the 
roll of officers to fill successively the office of vice presi- 
dent, treasurer, and president. Mr. Coleman's official 
connection with the association was a positive gain and 
constant stimulus to the organization. His interest in 
education has been no less marked than his push and 
zeal along other lines. He has always demonstrated a 
profound interest in all educational endeavors, in school 
or otherwise, among his people. As part proof of these 
assertions the following is noteworthy: he has carried 
one student through Howard University, one through 
Livingstone College, is supporting and helping several 


students at Shaw University, the Oxford (North Carolina) 
Orphans' Home, Livingstone College, Scotia Seminary, 
and other schools. His contributions to the educational 
uplifting of his race are manifold and important. Mr. 
Coleman might well be ranked as a philanthropist. He 
took a large part in offering inducements for Livingstone 
College to be located at Concord, N. C, when it was or- 
ganized as Zion Wesley Institute. He had aided Pro- 
fessor R. M. Alexander in the development of the Cole- 
man School at Welford, S. C, which is now in success- 
ful operation. Mr. Coleman has always contributed gen- 
erously and cheerfully to the Church. He aided in build- 
ing the Zion Hill Church at Concord, N. C, and is now 
taking a leading part in erecting Price Memorial Temple 
at that place. He has made his way from a very humble 
beginning to position and fortune. Starting out inex- 
perienced and poorly informed, to-day his experience is 
by no means limited and his information decidedly 
above mediocrity. Beginning empty-handed, to-day he 
controls tens of thousands of dollars' worth of property. 
He is a man of great urbanity and hospitality, sparing 
no pains or reasonable expense to make his home a joy 
to his family and his house a home to his friends. 

S. G. Atkins. 


This popular Presiding Elder of the Fayetteville Dis- 
trict of the Central North Carolina Conference was born 
in Carteret County, N. C, October 18, 1850. He began 
to receive instruction in Sabbath school when he was about 

nine years old. The school was taught by a white lady. 



Here he first obtained knowledge of the universe and 
its Maker, his own relation thereto, and his moral re- 
sponsibility. The impressions made upon his mind in 
this little biblical institute were lasting- and had much 
to do with the shaping of his course of life. 


About the same period he entered a day school sup- 
ported by the Congregational Church and conducted by 
three Northern white lady teachers. Here he first 
learned something of the advantage of an education and 
began to feel a thirst for knowledge. 

Brother Hill professed religion when sixteen years old, 
and joined the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church 


under the pastoral care of Rev. I. B. McLiece. 'He 
served the Church in the capacity of class leader,, 
preacher's steward, and trustee for several years success- 
ively. He was licensed to preach by Rev. Sampson Cop- 
per in 1 87 1. Two years later he was recommended to 
the North Carolina Annual Conference, which met iu 
Wilmington, November, 1873. He was received, or- 
dained a deacon, and appointed to the charge of the 
Swansboro Circuit, near where he was raised. During 
two years in this charge he built two churches, added 
largely to the membership, and greatly improved the cir- 
cuit in every respect. 

In 1875 he was sent to the Mooresville Circuit, in the 
Central North Carolina Conference. He remained on 
this work four years, built three churches, and ceiled one 
that had been previously built. During his stay on this 
circuit he made it one of the best in the Conference, 
both spiritually and temporally. 

In 1877 he entered the Chautauqua reading circle, lo- 
cated at Plainfield, N. J., from which he received some 
valuable instruction. 

In 1879 he was ordained elder by Bishop Hood and 
sent to Statesville. During his three years in this charge 
he paid off a long-standing debt of several hundred dol- 
lars, remodeled the church, and greatly improved it, 
both spiritually and temporally. In fact, by his good 
conduct he gave the church a standing with all classes it 
never enjoyed before. The best white people in the 
place frequently attended his services. 

In 1 88 1 he was sent to Concord. The Zion Wesley 
Institute had just then been moved to Salisbury, and the 


Concord people were mad clear through about it. They 
were mad at the bishop and Conference and everybody 
connected with it. The bishop knew their feelings and 
the danger of the breaking up of all the churches in the 
county, and Hill was selected to meet the emergency. It 
was the bishop's opinion that he was the only man he 
then had to whom he could intrust the work. He met 
the people, and they poured upon him their pent-up 
wrath against the bishop and Conference. He simply 
informed them that he was not at all responsible for the 
matter of which they complained, except to the extent 
that any one individual member of a body 9 is responsible 
for the acts of that body ; that he was there, by appoint- 
ment, to do what he could for the upbuilding of the 
church. If they wanted him to stay and do the best he 
could he was ready to go to work ; if not, he would report 
to the bishop that they were not willing to receive him, 
and would get work elsewhere. His quiet Christian bear- 
ing melted their hardness and consumed their wrath. His 
reputation had preceded him, and they perceived in him 
better qualities than they had even imagined, and hence 
were unwilling to let him go. He stayed four years, 
paid four hundred and fifty dollars for a new church lot, 
built a parsonage and a brick church, which was then 
the finest brick church in the Conference. Here, as else- 
where, he gave the church a standing in the community it 
never enjoyed before, and gained for himself a reputation 
very much higher than any predecessor or successor 
ever enjoyed. In his honor the church he built was 
called the Zion Hill Church. 

In 1885 Bishop S. T. Jones appointed him to Fayette- 


ville, notwithstanding a unanimous petition for his re- 
turn to Concord for the fifth year. He remained in Fay- 
etteville three years. He paid off along-standing indebt- 
edness of fifteen hundred dollars, put in a three-hundred- 
dollar bell, and was preparing to commence a new church 
when, in 1888, Bishop J. J. Moore sent him to Clinton 
Chapel, Charlotte. When he took charge of this church 
it was in the worst condition that it has known during its 
entire history ; but he succeeded in gathering the scat- 
tered flock, remodeling the church (at a cost of three 
thousand dollars), putting new life in the membership, 
and restoring to the congregation much of its lost pres- 
tige. Considering the low condition of the church when 
he took charge of it, and the shortness of the period of 
his administration, this may be regarded as one of his 
greatest achievements. In 1890 he was nominated by 
Bishop Moore for presiding elder, and unanimously 
elected, and was appointed to the Fayetteville District, 
of which he still has charge, and is one of the most pop- 
ular presiding elders in the connection. 

Bishop Jones appointed him to the office of Conference 
Steward, which he held during the two years that he was 
stationed in Charlotte, during which period the Confer- 
ence made the best report of any years in its history. 
(When Bishop Moore appointed him presiding elder he 
made the mistake of relieving him of his stewardship, 
and appointing another who did not do so well.) 

Elder Hill has been elected a delegate to every Gen- 
eral Conference since, and including, 1880, and has al- 
ways been one of the most faithful and reliable dele- 
gates — always thoughtful and conservative, and always 


apparently actuated by the best of motives. We can say 
for Elder Hill, what we are only prepared to say for a 
very few who have been any length of time in the minis- 
try, namely, that he has never been changed on his own 
account or with the view to his own benefit. Every ap- 
pointment that he has ever received has been given him 
for the purpose of benefiting the church or churches to 
which he was appointed. Not a charge that he has ever 
had was willing to give him up at the time he left. Any 
charge he has ever had would hail his return with de- 
light, and we fully believe that he would be to-day the 
first choice of any charge he ever held. 


Robert Stephen Rieves was born near Carthage, in 
Moore County, N. C, June 16, 1848. He learned the 
English alphabet in a few minutes ; when only six years 
old he had religious impressions, and a sense of his 
call to the ministry nearly as early. The twenty-third 
Psalm, which he learned at a very early age, and the 
fourteenth chapter of John, made a deep impression 
upon his mind. Notwithstanding the effort to keep 
colored children from the knowledge of books, he got a 
few lessons in Webster's Speller. At about his tenth 
year he experienced a change of heart. His mistress, 
notwithstanding she was a member of the Presbyterian 
Church, discouraged him by threats from owning the 
name of Jesus. The dominant race of that period 
will have a fearful account to give. They encouraged 
in their slaves the enjoyment of whatever amusements 
were degrading, but nothing that was elevating. They 


were permitted to go to low-down dancing parties, 
but not to church. Soon after the surrender he made 
public profession of his faith, joined the Church, and 
became at once a very active member, filling all the 
positions of a layman. He was married in 1870, and 
has a very interesting family. He joined the North 
Carolina Conference in 1874. At that time a young man 
had to prove the material he was made of before he was 
given important work. Rieves had to work his way up. 
His first appointment was two 
hundred miles from his home, 
and he received only $3 1 for 
his year's salary. To support 
his wife and two children he 
had to teach school. He has 
held several important charges. 
At Statesville he remodeled 
the church and had very great 
spiritual success. He had 
charge of Clinton Chapel, 
Charlotte, for three years, 
during which time five hundred members were added 
to the Church. Over $3,000 was raised by festivals 
during his pastorate. He was made presiding elder, 
in which position he labored successfully for about ten 
years. Through all these years in the ministry he 
has been a hard student. Before he entered the minis- 
try he had a few weeks' schooling in the common schools, 
taught by a colored lady who had received but little train- 
ing herself. In 1879, while stationed at Manchester, 
N. C, he attended the State Normal School at Fayette- 



ville for four months. He studied physics, theology, and 
Latin under private instructors. He took the Chautau- 
qua Course, and has his diploma from that institution. 
Rev. Rieves is a man of extraordinary ability and of 
great energy. He has a strong Christian character, and 
is a natural leader of mien. He is modest, quiet, and un- 
assuming, but a great worker in Conference. When the 
Central North Carolina Conference was set off he went 
with it, where he continued to labor for thirteen years. 
In 1892 he was transferred to the North Carolina Confer- 
ence and appointed to the pastoral charge at Goldsboro. 
He was a delegate to the General Conference in 1880, 
1884, 1888, and 1892. He was also a delegate to the Cen- 
tennial or Christmas Conference of all the Methodist 
Episcopal Churches in America, which was held at Bal- 
timore in 1884. He has also been a member of two joint 
commissions on organic union. Whatever position he 
occupies he is a credit to his Church. 


Robert Russell Morris, who celebrated his fifty-sixth 
anniversary May 27, 1893, was born at Halifax, 
N. S. His parents were both natives of the above 
named place, and were among the first in establishing 
Zion Church in the peninsular city of the province of 
Nova Scotia. Robert embraced religion at ten years of 
age, during the pastorate of Rev. Peter Ross. He at- 
tended school when but four years of age, where, during 
his early years, he received a fair education, after which 
he was sent to Gorham College, Liverpool, N. S. At 
the close of two years the college was destroyed by 


fire and never rebuilt. During the time Brother Morris 
was at college he felt he was called to preach the Gospel ; 
for a time he strove against the impression, but at last he 
was compelled to yield and give himself to the Lord to 
be his willing and obedient servant After conversing 


with the pastor, Rev. S. M. Giles, he applied and ob- 
tained local preacher's license. Shortly after he went 
with Rev. J. P. Thompson, who is now a bishop, to New 
York, and joined the Annual Conference. He was sent 
from there to attend the New England Conference, where 
he was elected secretary. At the close of the Conference 
he was appointed to go to Nova Scotia, where he labored 


for two years in the mission field, during which time he 
was successful in erecting a building which answered 
for church and school purposes at Mauroon Hill, fifteen 
miles from the city. He also attended the Presbyterian 
Theological School, studying mental and moral science, 
Church history, theology, Greek. Testament, Hebrew, 
and Syriac. 

At the expiration of two years, again in company with 
Bishop J. P. Thompson, he met the New York Confer- 
ence, which convened in Newburg, where he was or- 
dained deacon, and, being again sent to the New England 
Conference, where he served as chief secretary, he took an 
active part in the proceedings of the sessions, and when 
the appointments were announced young Morris was as- 
signed to Nantucket, the smallest and poorest appoint- 
ment in the district. He, however, accepted the appoint- 
ment, took his young wife and went to his work on the 

The minister he succeeded gave him no flattering 
account of his charge, so that Morris was somewhat pre- 
pared for whatever would confront him; therefore he 
went, not trusting in collegiate acquirement, but relying 
upon Him who said, " Lo, I am with you alway, even 
unto the end of the world. Amen." 

Upon reaching the place his opposition and conflicts 
began, yet he remained at his post. During that winter 
navigation closed, so there was no communication to or 
from any place for one month ; but the labors of the 
young minister were blessed, the church membership 
increased, and some needed repairs made upon the 
church. From Nantucket he was appointed to Worces- 


ter, Mass., to follow Rev. J. N. Mars, one of Zion's stal- 
wart sons, whose popularity and labors were not only- 
known in our Church, but also recognized by all classes 
of people as an able, successful antislavery lecturer. 
Brother Morris says it was with reluctance and timidity 
that he entered upon this charge, which such a great man 
had filled. Two years at Worcester endeared the 
people to him, both of the whites and colored 
alike. The church was saved from being sold, the 
property improved, and scores added to the society. 
Brother Morris was delegate to the General Conference 
which met in New York in 1 860 ; he was secretary to the 
Rush party to confer with the bishop's party, which con- 
vened at Philadelphia, where the two were brought to- 
gether and became one connection. Springfield was the 
next appointment, where great good was done. 

About this time the war broke out. Brother Morris 
thought Africa the best place for him. As he was pre- 
paring for the far-off land he received a letter from his 
parents begging him not to go so far from home. In 
the meantime the president and authorities of the island 
of Hayti were inviting persons of all classes to go there. 
Rev. (now Bishop) Holly, rector of St. Luke's parish, 
New Haven, Conn., learning of Brother Morris's inten- 
tion of going to Africa, called upon him and had him 
consent to go to Hayti. Morris wrote Bishop J. J. Clin- 
ton, who, after advising him to remain in the United 
States, gave his consent to go, praying that God would be 
with him. Brother Morris went, but the climate was 
against his health. He buried his wife, an excellent 
Christian woman, also two children. The next year he 


returned to his native land, to find, to his regret, the old 
church not supplied by Zion ministers. The field hav- 
ing opened in the South for our ministers rendered it im- 
possible for Zion to keep up the work in Nova Scotia. 

While Brother Morris was recuperating his health he 
was offered and accepted the principalship of the city- 
public school, as a large number of the colored people 
desired separate education. The church being without 
a pastor at the time, he was requested to take the place, 
and after some deliberation he gave consent. Not many 
days after Right Rev. Willis Nazary, Bishop of the 
British Methodist Episcopal Church of Chatham, Canada, 
who had been at St. John, New Bnmswick, hearing of the 
condition of the church at Halifax, seized the opportu- 
nity of visiting it. He found the church without a 
pastor, and he, being the Bishop of the British Methodist 
Episcopal Church, succeeded in advising and inducing 
the members and congregation to go under his jurisdic- 
tion. Subsequently a Conference convened at Liver- 
pool, N. S. 

Brother Morris was sent to St. John, N. B., where he 
was successful in raising the school building twenty feet 
and made the lower part a commodious room for divine 
services. This place is in use now, and is known by the 
name of St. Philip's Church. Before going to St. John 
he married his present estimable and talented wife. 
From St. John he went to Bermuda, where, with the aid 
of his partner, he established the first colored church on 
the island. One thousand and fifty persons became 
members and followers in less than two years. Seven 
years' stay on the island was the means of doing good ; 


the result will only be known in eternity. Brother Mor- 
ris was made assistant superintendent of the Church 
work at Bermuda, and performed all the duties of a 
bishop except ordaining. He held three Annual Con- 
ferences. While there Rev. G. H. S. Bell, the Confer- 
ence Steward of the New England Annual Conference, 
was one of the members who joined under his adminis- 

After seven years spent in Bermuda he went to St. 
Catharines, Ontario, where he filled one of the largest 
and most influential churches in Canada. From there he 
went to Bridgeport, Conn., Bishop Moore being the 
bishop over that Conference, and was successful in re- 
pairing the parsonage and made a host of friends, both 
in and out of the Church. He then went to Hartford, 
staying five years, doing noble service and gaining many 

Brother Morris was Bishop Moore's special correspond- 
ent during the bishop's visit in England. He was dele- 
gate to the General Conference in New York in 1884, 
and was appointed one of the commissioners to meet a 
similar commission of the Bethel Church, which met 
in Washington City to consider the basis for organic 
union. He was then transferred to the North Carolina 
Conference, and remained until appointed by the Board 
of Bishops General Superintendent of the African Metho- 
dist Episcopal Zion Sunday Schools and editor of the 
Sunday school literature. In addition Brother Morris 
was pastor of the Old Ship three years, and served two 
3*ears as presiding elder over the Montgomery District ot 
the satisfaction of the Church. 



R. Haywood Stitt, the subject of this sketch, was born 
of slave parents in Mecklenburg County, State of North 
Carolina, fourteen miles from the city of Charlotte, Janu- 
ary 22 , 1 86 1 . His parents dying when he was quite young, 
he was left alone to grapple with the stern realities of life. 
His father and mother being Presbyterians, he received 
his first religious impression in that Church, but was con- 
verted at a Methodist protracted meeting in 1882, at 
China Grove Church, near Charlotte, whither he had gone 
to make sport. 

He entered Livingstone College the same year, and 
was licensed as a local preacher in the following year 
(1883) at Pineville, N. C, by Rev. J. A. Tyler, D.D. 
He was admitted to the Central North Carolina Confer- 
ence, which convened at Monroe, N. C, in 1884. He 
was ordained deacon in 1886 at Lincolnton, N. C, and 
elder at Petersburg, Va., in 1888, by Bishop J. W. 

He graduated from the theological department of 
Livingstone College in May, 1888, and on the evening 
of his graduation was married by Dr. Price, assisted by 
Professor Goler, to Miss Alice M. Ury, of Concord, N.C., a 
graduate of Scotia Seminary. During his term in school 
he pastored several country charges, and was sent to 
Charlotte, N. C, after the formation of Grace Church. 
Here he was successful in securing a plot of ground, and 
built Grace Church, but was not permitted to finish it. 
Within two weeks of its dedication he was transferred to 
the New York Conference, and stationed at Newbura;. 


Here he remained two years, paid off the mortgage (that 
was old as himself), together with other incidental ex- 


penses, repaired the church, increased the membership, 
and improved the work in general. He was then re- 


moved against the wishes of the people, both white and 
black, to Williamsburg, where he had good success re- 
pairing the church, paying incidental expenses, and rais- 
ing the interest on the great debt that burdens this church. 
Serving one year at Williamsburg, he was then sent to 
Fleet Street, Brooklyn. Here his success has been phe- 
nomenal. Three gracious revivals have attended his 
efforts, increasing the membership not only of his own 
church, but also of the Baptist, Presbyterian, and other 
churches of the city. The financial state of the church is 
better than ever before. Crowds are turned away from 
the doors every Sunday evening for want of room. In 
fact, Fleet Street stands to-day the most popular colored 
church in the city of Brooklyn. 

On going to Brooklyn he saw that one of the needs of 
the place was to get the young people interested in the 
work of the church ; hence he organized the Progressive 
Literary, which has become a flourishing institution com- 
posed of some of the best talent of the City of Churches. 
The Sons and Daughters of Zion, organized next, took in 
and held a large number of the converts of the first year's 

In 1893 he organized a young people's society of Chris- 
tian Endeavor, with eighty-five members, which is doing 
a good work both in the church and community. He rep- 
resented his Church in the International Convention of 
Christian Endeavor Societies at Montreal, Canada, in 
1893, serving on an important committee which issued a 
circular to the Methodism of the world. He was a mem- 
ber of the General Conference of 1892, which met at Pitts- 
burg, Pa. He has served as secretary of the New 


York Conference since 1889; and is also Superintendent 
of the Sunday schools of the New York Conference 

Brother Stitt is a sound gospel preacher, his sermons 
showing depth of thought and careful preparation. Calm 
and deliberative at the outset, he sweeps along until the 
climax is reached, carrying his audiences with him and 
holding them spellbound by his eloquence. Kind of 
heart, ready to give his support to every good word and 
work, a man of the people, he stands to-day one of the 
most popular pastors in the City of Churches. 


This Conference was organized by Bishop J. P. Thomp- 
son, December 14, 1881. It includes that portion of the 
State lying west of the Alabama River. It numbered 
at its organization 114 preachers and 17,144 members. 
Many of the men who now compose the Conference are 
among our stronger men. Among them we may men- 
tion Revs. William Spencer, A. J. Warner, J. S. San- 
ders, F. A. Clinton, E. Hunter, and S. Sherman. One 
of the most successful builders in this Conference, Rev. 
J. M. Butler, has recently passed away. The success the 
Conference enjoyed was largely due to his faithful effort. 

The Jones University is located in this Conference. It 
bids fair to become a great seat of learning. The fol- 
lowing is the roll of the West Alabama Conference, De- 
cember 10, 1890: 

Bishop, Right Rev. C. C. Pettey, A.M. 

Secretary, Rev. J. C. Lodge. 

Assistant Secretary, Rev. P. R. Pittman. 


Compiler, Rev. F. A. Clinton. 

Reporter to the " Star of Zion," Rev. H. R. Gaines. 

Conference Steward, Rev. E. Hunter. 

Sunday School Superintendent, Rev. H. W. Goode. 

V. P. W. H. F. M. Society, Mrs. Bishop C. C. Pettey. 

President S. and D. of Conference, Mrs. M. C. Johnson. 

Secretary S. and D. of Conference, Mrs. C. A. Bridges. 

Treasurer S. and D. of Conference, Mrs. W. P. Scott. 

Presiding Elders, Revs. J. M. Butler, William Spencer, 
F. A. Clinton, E. Hunter, J. C. Saunders. 

Elders, William Spencer, J. C. Lee, J. A. Lewis, P. 
Washington, G. W. Gains, W. J. Caver, I. Fluellen, Z. 
H. Booker, H. C. Banks, H. Hamner, E. R. Rose, Rob- 
ert Steele, A. J. Warner, William A. Murphy, J. Bryant, 
Samuel Sherman, S. P. Collins, George Golightly, Virgil 
Burks, S. M. Gains, A. G. Alstork, N. Mason, M. Rosser, 
S. C. Gratten, I. S. Ruffin, George Bolden, M. W. By- 
num, J. T. Melton, H. J. Starks, E. D. Taylor, Sr. ; H. 
C. Smith, J. C. Lodge, P. R. Pittman, Allen Lewis, C. 
A. White, M. L. Blalock, J. G. Lewis, J. C. Saunders, H. 
Washington, J. W. Henderson, M. Rosser, M. Monzingo, 
M. C. Crawford. 

Deacons, Revs. Isaac Goodwin, George W. May, CO. 
Wilkerson, M. S. Cost, J. H. Hall, John O. Donalds, 
Jacob Miller, J. H. Alexander, J. F. Seymore, O. Levett, 
Price Chaney, Stephen Hurst, Sr. ; Albert Lynch, E. D. 
Taylor, Jr. ; J. L. Jackson, Charles Green, Henry Albrit- 
ten, B. Clark, L. H. Hurst, James Bernard, F. L. Fulken, 
George Lynch, Emanuel Bryant, J. S. Simmons, Willis 
Wilson, Richard Long, J. R. Beckham, J. R. Gaines, J. 
E. Lucas, Loveless Bryant. 


Preachers in Full Connection, P. S. Lucas, Henry Owens, 
C. A. Cook, Luke Fulker. 

Preachers on Trial, J. W. Hooper, S. Fluellen, B. G. 
Sanders, J. B. Evans, R. H. Hurst, M. C. Graham, James 
Hall, A. Nobles, J. H. Horton, C. O. Wilkerson, N. R. 
Rodes, A. J. Sanders, Samuel Johnson, J. K. Jackson, J. 
G. Alexander, A. H. Hommer, P. C. Wilcox, George 
May, T. J. Sykes, R. H. Brown, C. J. Johnson, Z. W. 
Williams, William Chaney, H. A. Barkley, A. A. Mc- 
Commack, W. D. Davis, W. H. Turner, G. W. Johnson, 
J. A. Walls, W. M. Gilmore, J. H. Sylvester, W. E. Buz- 
elton, J. T. Hampton, W. M. Banks, T. H. Jones, J. H. 
Bell, J. H. Tobin. 

Superannuated Ministers, John Bryant, Thomas Wind- 
fiel, Virgil Burks, Stephen Hunt. 


Franklin A. Clinton is one of the most affable, influ- 
ential, and brilliant young men in Zion. He is big- 
brained and big-hearted, and is a natural leader of men. 
Whether in the kingdom of Clintons in South Carolina 
or in the Conferences of Alabama, Franklin A. Clinton 
is a commanding leader, and men follow the shibboleth 
of his magnetic voice like the tides of ocean that flow 
after the moving queen of night. As an able scholar, 
logical theologian, brilliant writer, and eloquent orator 
young Clinton is a representative Afro-American. He 
is full of love and personal magnetism, and hence has 
many personal friends. His presence is sunshine and his 
path beams with light diffusing from a summer-like 
nature. Franklin A. Clinton is a son of a mother. With 



head pillowed upon the breast of an affectionate and in- 
telligent mother close by the glittering fireside of an 
embellished and refined home, Franklin A. Clinton was 
taught the principles and moral elements of God's ad- 


mired manhood. It is said that she died in 1881. She 
is not dead ! She lives in the exemplary lives of her noble 
sons and darling daughters, and in the hearts of all that 
ever heard her motherly advice and caught her winsome 
smile. Mother! Home! Heaven! Clinton is tall and 


graceful. He was born near Lancaster Court House, 
S. C, in i860, and is the son of that eminent divine and 
distinguished leader, Bishop I. C. Clinton. 

Franklin A. Clinton attended the public schools of his 
neighborhood and completed his education in the Univer- 
sity of South Carolina. He likes the higher mathemat- 
ics, belles-lettres attract his admiration, and he is a close 
observer of current history. Bishop Pettey says that Clin- 
ton is one of the best-informed men in this country. He 
is broad and liberal in his views, which are highly valued, 
whether in an Annual or General Conference. States- 
men have sought his advice and association in statecraft. 
He is regarded where known as a well-balanced, full- 
rounded man. He has preached and lectured in some of 
the largest churches in America. He attracted great at- 
tention on the Pacific coast when he held Conferences in 
California and Oregon for Bishop C. C. Pettey, A.M., 
D.D. In 1887 he preached the Thanksgiving Sermon 
for the Tuskegee Normal School, presided over by Pro- 
fessor Booker T. Washington. He also delivered a 
powerful and magnificent address to the graduating 
class at Emmerson Institute, Mobile, Ala. Clinton did 
not reach his present height in paths of roses and 
flowers. His father educated him and then rightly 
thrust him in the arms of a cold world, so that the son, 
like father, might gain experience, breast storms, and de- 
velop confidence, independence, and self-reliance. After 
returning from college he was engfasred as instructor in 
the Pettey High School, and afterward taught school 
in Yorkville, S. C. While in Yorkville in 1883 he was 
converted and united with the African Methodist 


Episcopal Zion Church, and at once began active Chris- 
tian work ; six months later he was granted license as a 
preacher by Presiding Elder D. I. Walker, of the York- 
ville District. In November of the same year he joined 
the traveling connection of the South Carolina Conference, 
under Bishop T. H. Lomax, D.D., and was stationed as 
pastor of the Rehoboth Circuit. During his pastorate of 
this charge he was very successful, both in the temporal 
and spiritual work of the church. Some of the oldest men 
of the community were happily converted, turned from 
lives of wickedness, and added to the church. He recalls 
a striking incident of an old man seventy years of age, 
who had been for many years a confirmed drunkard, but 
having come to the church out of curiosity he became so 
deeply impressed while the eloquent Clinton was preaching 
that he repented of his sins, was happily converted, and 
became a faithful and consistent member of the church. 

Clinton was then stationed at Steele Hill, where he 
built a parsonage and added to the church many im- 
provements. At this point he conducted a large revival. 
The members of this church unanimously petitioned for 
his return, but he was transferred to the West Alabama 
Conference and stationed at Tuscaloosa, where he served 
with great credit one of the finest and most cultured 
churches in the South. While pastor here he liquidated 
a heavy mortgage debt and conducted a large revival, 
adding one hundred and twenty-five souls to the church. 
Cultured Tuscaloosa unanimously requested his return 
for the third year, but the bishop decided to send him 
to take charge of the church at Birmingham, Ala., 
which was in a critical condition at that time. The 


property was in litigation, and the spiritual condition of 
the church was low, but he soon mastered the situation. 
He was reappointed for the second year, but owing to 
some trouble in State Street Church, Mobile, he was 
removed from Birmingham and sent to that charge to 
adjust affairs, but found the church in such a state of 
confusion that he accepted a call from Bishop S. T. 
Jones, D.D., to take charge of the church at Pensacola, 
Fla. At this point the usual success crowned his efforts 
until his health failed and he was advised by his physican 
to return to Alabama. He was then elected as one of 
the presiding elders and assigned to the Mobile District. 
Under his administration this district became the banner 
general fund district of the Conference. He is now Pre- 
siding Elder of the Selma District in the West Alabama 
Conference. He is loved by his associates and ministers. 
He is popular and grows stronger and stronger. 

In the General Conferences of 1888 and 1892 he was a 
leading spirit. He will shine in any great body because 
he is full of wit, wisdom, and eloquence. He is the logi- 
cal secretary of the Conferences which he meets. He 
is a close theological student and preaches with power, 
grace, and beauty. As a writer he has furnished some in- 
teresting and timely contributions to his own Church and 
many secular papers. His clear and orotund voice has 
often won victories in great debates and oratorical con- 
tests of lion-like men. David Williams Parker. 

rev. p. j. Mcintosh, d.d. 

P. J. Mcintosh was born in Palmyra, Ga., August 15, 
1854. He graduated with distinction from the theo- 


logical department of Talladega College, June 10, 1880. 
He is one of the most profound scholars of the race, and 
is a thoughtful, polished, and eloquent pulpit orator. 
After the Emancipation Proclamation he attended the 
free public schools of Palmyra. Then he taught school 
until he entered Talladega College. While attending 
college he did mission work. He combined theory with 
practical work. This was important, because it made 
him a student in the great university of experience. 
While attending Talladega College he built a parsonage 
at Anniston and established a nourishing church. Im- 
mediately after his graduation he founded Mcintosh 
Institute at Anniston, Ala., as an auxiliary to Talladega 
College. He remained principal of said institute for sev- 
eral years, and served with marked ability. To a great 
degree it is true that when one graduates at college he 
has but the alphabet of knowledge. He is just prepared 
to study, read, and learn. Even now Dr. Mcintosh is 
a diligent student and close observer. Dr. Mcintosh 
was ordained eight days after his graduation to the holy 
orders of an elder. At Lawsonville, Ala., and at Howel's 
Cove, Ala., he served faithfully as pastor and teacher of 
the public school. He was stationed at Tuskegee, Ala., 
as pastor of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church 
for four successive years. Here he built a fine church 
in the city, and one twelve miles from Tuskegee. In 
1887 he was appointed to Zion Church in Montgomery, 
Ala., where he succeeded grandly, and attracted hun- 
dreds of people wherever he preached by the force of 
his arguments and magnetic eloquence. He was sent to 
the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church on Stockton 


Street in San Francisco, Cal., November, 1888. Said 
church is one of the largest and most popular colored 
churches on the Pacific coast. It is the pride of San 
Francisco and the glory of the Zion Connection in the 

Dr. Mcintosh stormed the wild Pacific. He served in 


the twofold capacity of pastor and presiding elder over 
the Pacific coast work for two years. At the Conference 
held in September, 1890, he respectfully declined a 
unanimous reelection to the presiding eldership. In two 
years he raised for the church at San Francisco the sum 
of five thousand dollars. He is an all-around man and 


easily succeeds as a financier. He has tact and judg- 
ment, and is master of all the intricacies of human 
nature. The Prohibition Party in California nominated 
him as a candidate for the Assembly, and though he made 
no personal canvass he received a magnificent vote, which 
was largely white. On Tuesday, December 9, 1890, by 
the invitation of County Committeeman Hon. W. W. 
Palley, a delegation of leading gentlemen of color assem- 
bled in the grand court of the Palace Hotel in San Fran- 
cisco, where Dr. Mcintosh was unanimously chosen 
spokesman for the occasion to deliver an address of wel- 
come to his Royal Majesty King Kalakaua, King of the 
Hawaiian Islands. His address of welcome sparkled 
with gemlike thoughts and jewels of eloquence. On 
December 22, 1890, he with other invited guests, at- 
tended the king's funeral at Trinity Church. On the 
14th of December, 1890, at a grand rally he collected 
$1,050 for the San Francisco Church. The last 
Sabbath in December, 1890, he presented the church 
in gold and silver the sum of $2,000 in clear profit from 
a fair. 

In December, 1891, he was transferred by Bishop 
C. C. Pettey to the West Alabama Conference, and 
was stationed at Tuscaloosa, where he did special 
work for Jones University, and greatly improved 
and benefited the church at said point. Bishop Pettey 
sent him to State Street African Methodist Episcopal 
Zion Church at Mobile, December, 1892, and he has 
made it one of the most popular and high-toned churches 
in America. He was a delegate to the Ecumenical Con- 
ference which met in Washington, D. C, in the year 1891. 


At the General Conference in Pittsburg he was chosen 
Secretary of Education for the Sixth Episcopal District, 
and fraternal delegate to the African Methodist Episco- 
pal General Conference, then in session at Philadelphia. 
Dr. Mcintosh has been a member of every General Con- 
ference since he was made an elder. He is well and 
favorably known throughout the Zion Connection. 

David Williams Parker. 


This Conference was organized by Bishop S. T. Jones, 
D.D., in March, 1882. This is the first offspring from 
the Kentucky Conference. The work was started by 
men from the Kentucky Conference, especially Zamoth 
Carr, A. J. Warner, and J. M. Washington. 

In more recent years the work has enjoyed the suc- 
cessful labors of Revs. A. Goslen and H. Bingham, from 
North Carolina. The following is the roll of members 
of the Arkansas Conference of the African Methodist 
Episcopal Zion Church : 

Presiding Bishop, Right Rev. A. Walters, D.D. 

Conference Steward, Rev. A. F. Goslen. 

Minute Fund Treasurer, Rev. A. J. Coleman. 

Secretary, Rev. W. A. Black well. 

Statistical Secretary, Rev. D. W. Poe. 

Assistant Secretary, Rev. J. C. Williams. 

Compiler, Rev. S. L. Corrothers. 

Elders, Revs. A. Arnold, P. L. Boyd, R. J. Simmes, 
H. E. Evans, J. H. Harden, H. C. Mooney, R. B. 
Macon, W. M. Craig, J. G. Ray, J. H. Smith, W. S. 
Conley, W. J. Brooks, W. M. Matthews, F. L King, 



H. C. Jones, S. M. Bess, G. W. Morris, R. S. Babbitt, 
G. G. W. Taylor, J. T. F. Hemphill, E. M. Martin, R. 
Moorman, W. S. Smith, W. M. Reed, M. J. Harrison, 
H. H. Huggins, George Graham, M. Meacham. 


S. L. Corrothers was born at Yorkville, S. C., Decem- 
ber 3, 1864. He was converted August 17, 1886. On 


October 17, 1886, he was licensed to preach by Elder D. 
I. Walker ; joined the South Carolina Conference Novem- 
ber 27, 1888;' was ordained deacon December 3, 1889. 
He served one year in the South Carolina Conference on 
the Newberry Mission, had sixty-four conversions, built 
one church, and organized one mission with a good mem- 
bership. In 1890 he was transferred to the Arkansas 


Conference and assigned to St. Paul Station, Little Rock, 
Ark., by Bishop Harris. Here lie found the church 
$1,005 i n debt, which has been paid ; the membership has 
increased from twenty to one hundred and forty. The 
church and parsonage have been improved at a cost of 
$764, and the general fund has been raised from $18 to 
$70.50. He is a most promising young man. 


Although the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church 
was founded away back in the dim vista of an almost 
oriental age, and, in fact, comes very near colonial 
times, a work which remained to be done by the resolute 
had long been neglected, and that the organization of 
the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Connection in 
Texas. It remained for Bishop Lomax to explore those 
untrodden solitudes and gather, if possible, those rich 
fruits which had for so long ripened to an abundant har- 
vest where only the footprints of other denominations 
had trodden. When we consider the ease and facility 
characteristic of the Church in the North, East, and Atlan- 
tic coast it required almost the courage of a Columbus to 
make a voyage to Texas, mindful of the fact that it was 
not only a cattle State, but a territory which has for 
years been the haven of all the isms save that of our be- 
loved cognomen. 

The Texas Conference was organized in November, 
1883, by Right Rev. Bishop Thomas H. Lomax, D.D., 
at Stoneham. Elders present, J. D. Mead, W. W. 
Kanna, and Barnabas Calaway officiating. The deacons 
that were ordained in that year were G. R. Washington, 


S. Miller, Z. McKindrick, and Isaac Hambright. Preach- 
ers received were E. Carter, Henry Johnson, and G. J. 

In November, 1884, Conference convened at Bobbin, 
Bishop Thomas H. Lomax presiding. Elders present, 
J. D. Mead, W. W. Kanna; deacons, G. R. Washington, 
S. Miller, Z. McKindrick; ordained to deacons, E. Car- 
ter, G. J. Johnson, and Henry Johnson. 

In November, 1885, the Conference convened at Nav- 
asota, Bishop J. P. Thompson, D.D., M.D., presiding. 
Elders were W. W. Kanna, V. Vincent ; deacons, G. R. 
Washington, Z. McKindrick, I. Hambright, S. Miller, G. 
J. Johnson, E. Carter, Henry Johnson. 

In 1886, through some misunderstanding, there was 
no Conference held, owing to Bishop Thompson's feeble- 

In 1887, for the above cause, there was held no Con- 
ference. In consequence of there being held no Confer- 
ences these last two years the work went down, and 
when Bishop Pettey was elected in 1888, and assigned to 
the Sixth Episcopal District,* he found in the State of 
Texas only one organization and thirteen members, at 
Stoneham. The indifference and gloomy appearances of 
prospects, if indeed there were any, suddenly loomed up 
before him as a mockery. The work at this stage re- 
quired a risk of life, health, and the sacrifice of finance. 
It was only four weeks from the time of his arrival in 
the State until the convening of the Conference. There 
was not a minister at his post. The sacrament of the 

* He postponed the Conferences from the fall of 1888 until February, 


Lord's Supper had not been administered in fourteen 
months. The four remaining- preachers who had not 
left Zion's fold were engaged on cotton farms and 
ranches. The members, becoming disheartened, lost all 
connectional interests and sought protection in more in- 
viting churches. The bishop at once took in the situa- 
tion, and with courage bold commenced a tour through 
the State. Securing the services of the distinguished 
Rev. F. A. Clinton, they traveled, preached, lectured, and 
organized churches for a month. The second Wednesday 
in February, 1889, found Bishop Pettey holding Con- 
ference in Stoneham. Only one elder responded to 
the roll call, and that was W. W. Kanna (F. A. Clinton 
being present). Elders ordained at Conference, G. R. 
Washington, S. Miller, and Isaac Hambright. Deacons, 
G. J. Johnson, Henry Johnson, E. Carter, Z. McKin- 
drick, and T. R. Gaines. Conference adjourned to meet 
the third Wednesday in October, 1889, at Hearne. 

Apropos to date Conference met in October, 1889 
(third Wednesday), at Hearne, Bishop C. C. Pettey pre- 
siding. Elders present responding to roll call, H. C. 
Philips, who had been transferred to the Texas Confer- 
ence from North Carolina, W. W. Kenna, G. R. Wash- 
ington, S. Miller, Isaac Hambright. Deacons, Z. Mc- 
Kindrick, E. Carter, G. J. Johnson, Henry Johnson, T. 
R. Gaines; and M. S. Jordan, who had been transferred 
from Alabama, was ordained to elder's orders and suc- 
ceeded Philips as presiding elder, Philips being trans- 
ferred back to North Carolina. 

In 1890 Conference convened at Stoneham, third 
Wednesday in October. Elders present, M. S. Jordan, 


G. Z. Washington, S. Miller, and W. W. Kanna. Dea- 
cons, G. J. Johnson, Henry Johnson, B. McKindrick, 
and E. Carter. 

In 1 89 1 Conference convened at Navasota, third Wed- 
nesday in October, Bishop Pettey presiding. Elders 
present, M. S. Jordan, G. R. Washington, S. Miller, 
W. W. Kanna, E. W. King, and R. C. O. Benjamin. 
Deacons, G. J. Johnson, H. Johnson, E. Carter, and Z. 
McKindrick. George Beard was ordained and added to 
the deacons' list in this Conference. Preachers received, 
George Pugh and Giles Williams. 

In 1893 Conference convened at Calvert, Tex., first 
Wednesday in February, Bishop Pettey presiding. El- 
ders, P. R. Pittman, G. R. Washington, W. W. Kanna, 
E. W. King, S. Miller, J. A. Russell, J. Steptoe, and 
R. E. Shelton. Deacons, G. J. Johnson, H. Johnson, 
E. Carter, and George Beard. Ordained, Dr. M. A. 
Majors. Preacher, George Pugh. Received, William 
Beneford. Thus ended the last Conference up to date 
held in Texas, For unforeseen causes the time of con- 
vening was changed from October, 1892, and hence did 
not meet until February 1, 1893. The redemption of 
Zion in Texas seems to have been assigned to Bishop 
Pettey. The work having almost suspended, it remained 
for him to restore and throw light upon the dark places, 
give strength to the weak, and give to the connection 
such an impetus that has never before been witnessed 
in the Lone Star State. The force of his genius as well 
as the concentration of his spiritual power seems to have 
added to the work the long- wanting features of African 
Methodist Episcopal Zion expectations. 


While Bishop Lomax poses as the leader and organizer 
of the work in Texas, Bishop Thompson the second 
bishop to carry farther the pioneer beginning of an 
undertaking destined to be great, Bishop Pettey poses as 
the rebuilder and restorer of the work which had grown 
into a state of despondency and gloom. 

The next Annual Conference will convene third 
Wednesday in October, 1893, at Waco, making two 
Conferences for the year 1893, in consequence of the 
postponement in 1892. — M. A. Majors, M.D., Secretary 
of Texas Conference. 


This Conference was organized by Bishop T. H. Lo- 
max, D.D., in 1885, as the offspring of the Georgia Con- 
ference. It includes the northwestern part of the State 
of Georgia, including Atlanta, the Gate City. The roll of 
North Georgia Conference is as follows : 

Bishop, Right Rev. I. C. Clinton, D.D. 

Ministers, Revs. W. D. Smith, D. M. Pinkard, G. A. 
Smith, O. S. Williams, S. P. Jones, J. E. Transue, J. 
C. Dunbar, J. F. Flemington, J. R. Turner, H. Wilson, 
J. J. Park, C. G. Hill, A. Tompkins, A. P. Heme, L. 
W. Taylor, R. Holl, L. P. Freman. 


This Conference was organized by Bishop T. H. Lo- 
max, D.D., on January 14, 1891. The following is the 
roll of members : 

Presiding Bishop, T. H. Lomax. 

Elders, Joseph Sexton, G. W. Maize, W. G. Strong, 


J. R. Harris, W. C. Westes, B. R. Harris, W. A. Bain, 
J. M. Sims. 

Deacons, R. R. Frederick, W. J. Sanders, James Dudley, 
A. Long. 

Preachers, H. G. Jones, R. W. Ballard, J. H. Jordan, 

D. E. White, A. G. Higgs, J. D. Ballard, J. F. Fobbs, 
H. W. White. 


This Conference was organized by Bishop T. H. 
Loraax, D.D., September 17, 1890, in Washington 
Chapel, St. Louis, Mo. It started off under very favor- 
able auspices. It had at its organization twenty-six 
members. Rev. Anthony Bunch, one of the oldest mem- 
bers of the Kentucky Conference, headed the roll in this 
new Conference. There are few men living who can 
equal Elder Bunch in organizing and building up a 
church under adverse circumstances. The following is 
the roll of members of Conference : 

Bishop, T. H. Lomax, D.D. 

Presiding Elder, Rev. Smith Claiborne. 

Elders, Anthony Bunch, Yarmouth Carr, Edward Jack- 
son, Adam Wakefield, W. F. Jones, J. P. Thompson, 

E. Stokes, T. J. Manson, J. H. Hardin, J. U. Browder, 
D. J. Donohoo, W. H. Ealy, M. A. F. Easton, Alfred 
Nichols, H* W. Smith. 

Deacons, E. Scott, Joseph Bunch, C. N. Payne. 

Preachers, Peter Shelton, David Jackson, Daniel Shel- 
ton, Lewis Norton, Paul Shelton, Henry Parker. 

Lay Delegates, George Boldrew, first division ; J. E. 
Couch, second division ; Joseph Stroughter, third divi- 


sion. Rev. John W. Alstork, fraternal delegate by letter 
from Alabama Conference. 


This Conference was organized and set apart by the" 
Louisiana Conference November 20, 1890, in the city of 
New Orleans, under the administration of Bishop C. C. 
Pettey, A.M., D.D. Its first session was held at Thomp- 
son's Chapel, near Mann's Station, in the country six 
miles west of Vicksburg, in the State of Louisiana, 
which session convened at twelve o'clock the first Wednes- 
day in November, 1891, Bishop C. C. Pettey presiding. 
S. M. Morgan was elected secretary. Roll of members: 
H. W. Barnett, presiding elder and steward. Elders, 
J. H. W. Inge, J. W. Johnson, W. S. Davis, R. S. Shel- 
ton, and J. W. Eason. Deacon John Steptoe was or- 
dained an elder. Deacons, none. Preachers received, 
A. I. Inge, Washington Betheny, Henry Carrell, P. C. 
Saunders, Peter Adams, George Carrell, Smith M. Mor- 
gan, Robert W. Williams, M. J. Roper, and Jefferson 

This Conference was largely attended, and great inter- 
est was manifested by the entire community. After an 
interesting session of seven days, accompanied by the 
Holy Ghost, the Conference adjourned to meet in Delhi, 
La., the first Wednesday in November, 1892. 

The North Louisiana Conference convened in Town- 
sen's Chapel, Delhi, La., the first Wednesday in Novem- 
ber, 1892, Bishop C. C. Pettey, A.M., D.D., presiding, 
Smith M. Morgan, secretary. H. W. Barnett, presiding 
elder and conference steward. Elders on roll, H. W. 


Barnett, J. W. Eason, J. W. Johnson, J. H. W. Inge, 
W. S. Davis, and R. S. Shelton, Elder John Steptoe 
having transferred to the Texas Conference. The fol- 
lowing preachers were ordained deacons: Abraham I. 
Inge, Smith M. Morgan, Morris J. Roper, William 
Cooper, Pollard C. Saunders, Richard W. Williams, 
Peter Adams, Henry Carrell, and Sandy Jones. Preach- 
ers, George Carrell, Jefferson Williams, and Washington 
Betheny. This, the second session, was quite interest- 
ing, but quiet. The financial reports were not very en- 
couraging, in consequence of the high water, which did 
much damage to the cotton farmers of all that section. 
Spiritually and numerically we all had cause to rejoice 
in the reports. This Conference, set apart in 1890 with 
eight ministers and traveling preachers and about one 
hundred and twenty members, reported at Delhi with 
six elders, nine deacons, and three preachers, and hav- 
ing more than four hundred members on roll. 

This Conference has a promising outlook, situated as 
it is in the great cotton belt of Louisiana, but able and 
devoted Christian ministers are greatly needed. After a 
glorious session this Conference voted, as did all of the 
Conferences of the Sixth Episcopal District, for the 
union of the two great Negro Methodist Churches, and 
^adjourned to meet at Saint James Church, Madison 
Parish, La., the first Wednesday in December, 1893. 

We give below the roll of members of the North 
Louisiana Conference : 

Presiding Elders, Solomon Johnson, L. W. Oldfield. 

Elders, H. W. Barnett, J. H. W. Inge, S. H. N. 
Wallier, Edward D. Armstead, J. N. Davis, A. Wash- 


ington, A. Humble, Paul Brimage, P. S. Burton, Allen 
J. Seals, Thomas Jones, S. M. Johnson, J. W. Johnson, 
Sandy Thompson, H. McNeal, C. F. Gurtie, I. Pitts, 
I. C. Nicholas, P. E. Jones, J. P. Gundry. 

Deacons, William Baker, Daniel Lard, H. Jones, R. 
Williams, R. Carroll, S. Jones, Samuel Ard, J. W. 
Kelley, L. M. Morgan, R. Roper, H. Carroll. 


This Conference was organized by Bishop J. J. Moore, 
in November, 1891. It is composed of counties on the 
east side of the Blue Ridge, extending southeast as far 
as Mecklenburg and northeast as far as Forsyth County, 
forming nearly one half of the territory previously 
within the bounds of the Central North Carolina Con- 
ference. This is a splendid region of country, and, 
like the other Conferences in North Carolina, this is 
composed of active and intelligent men. This is the 
seventh Conference formed out of the territory orig- 
inally within the bounds of the North Carolina Confer- 
ence. Bishop Moore was on his way to meet this Con- 
ference in Charlotte when he received the fatal dart 
of death at Greensboro, N. C. Following is the roll of 
members : 

Presiding Elders, Revs. George H. Haines, A.M., M. 
V. Marable, Henry L. Simmons. 

Elders, Revs. P. A. McCorkle, B. F. Martin, G. G. 
Musgrave, S. F. Hamilton, D.D., William M. Johnson, 
P. J. Holmes, A. L. Newby, R. C. Collins, S. D. Wad- 
kins, S. W. Jackson, E. C. Davidson, D. E. Best, A. T. 
Clement, S. Carter, D. C. Covington, Robert H. Sim- 


mons, H. B. Bennett, S. S. Murdock, F. Archie, D. A. 
McKoy, S. Herndon, W. J. Benjamin,. E. L. Campbell, 
J. W. Jinkens, W. M. Little, R. B. Bruce, H. L. Hyatt, 
Eli Alexander, W. O. Wadell, L. N. B.'H. Wyche. 

Deacons, Revs. Charles H. Artis, J. A. Miller, C. Rob- 
erts, J.'S. McRae, S. M. Pharr, J. M. Fullenwider, H. 
Hooser, L. A. Barber, M. Caldwell, C. W. Vanderburg, 
M. M. Smith, J. S. Smith, Peter Caldwell, J. D. Williams, 
W. M. Smith, H. J. Simpson, A. D. Dunlap, C. L. Bias, 
W. L. Alexander, S. Speight, Garrison E. Carter, George 

Preachers, W. H. Wolf, P. C. Helton, H. J. Simpson, 
T. S. Grier, F. M. Stitt, R. D. Davis, J. J. Blanton. 


G. S. Adams, was born in Burke County, N. C, 
ten miles from Morganton, November 6, 1868. He is the 
oldest of four brothers. George was always regarded as a 
very good boy ; from early boyhood he was prayerful, 
good-natured, and studious. 

When but five years old he was baptized by Rev. Sam- 
uel Alexander, and was by the same minister received 
into the Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Zion 
Church, Gaston County, at eleven years of age. When 
twelve years old the same minister succeeded in get- 
ting him to accept the religion of Jesus Christ. He im- 
mediately became an active Christian. At fourteen years 
of age he became a Sabbath school teacher, at sixteen 
years of age a class leader of a young converts' class. 

When seventeen years old he was licensed as a local 
preacher by Presiding Elder E. L. Campbell, September 


12, 1885. Young Adams taught in the public schools 
from 1885 to 1890. He entered Livingstone College in 
1886, where he received his college training. During 
his college days he was received November 21, 1887, 


by Bishop J. W. Hood, D.D., into the Central North 
Carolina Annual Conference, then in session at Con- 
cord, N. C, as a traveling preacher. He was then 
nineteen years old. Bishop Hood made him a mis- 
sionary that year. He built and brought into the Con- 


ference, which met in Fayetteville, N. C, that year two 
churches. He was greatly eulogized for his work, and 
as a token of appreciation was given a scholarship in 
Livingstone College. Dr. Goler presented him to the 
Conference, and said he was a fine-looking and worthy 
young man. 

In 1889 he was elected a deacon at Charlotte, and was 
by Bishop C. R. Harris ordained to that office at Salis- 
bury, December 23, 1889. Young Adams was petitioned 
for and sent to Thomas's Chapel, Hickory, N. C. He 
stayed there two years and met with great success. He 
had many converts, almost doubled the membership, re- 
paired and refurnished the church. 

When the Annual Conference assembled at Statesville 
he was elected an elder and ordained to it by Bishop J. 
J. Moore, November 25, 1890. August 6, 1890, he was 
married to Miss Lillie G. Fleming, of Morganton, N. C, 
Rev. George H. Haines officiating. She is a most ex- 
cellent Church worker, a good Christian, and a splendid 
minister's wife. She knows how to make and hold 

In 1 89 1 Rev. Adams was appointed to Grace Church 
at Charlotte. He had the largest and most successful re- 
vival and the largest congregation known in the history 
of that church. He cleared that church of debt in 
twelve months and added forty persons to the church. 

May, 1893, he took a notion to transfer, and asked my 
opinion. I told him, inasmuch as he was a young, 
scholarly, and wide-awake preacher, to come North. He 
saw Bishop Hood, who transferred him last May to Yon- 
kers, N. Y., where he was warmly received by his church 


and is meeting with great success. White and colored 
are nocking to hear him. He is arranging to build a par- 
sonage. Of his success and preaching the editor of the 
Star of Zion says in one of the July issues, ' ' Rev. G. S. 
Adams, who was recently transferred to the New York 
Conference and stationed at Yonkers, N. Y., has already 
shown himself to be admirably adapted to the place and 
people. The amount raised by him on Children's Day 
last Sunday was fifty dollars, which greatly excels any 
sum raised in that State outside of New York city and 
at Mother Zion." 

Speaking of his sermon before the Tennessee Annual 
Conference last fall a year ago, Editor Clinton, in the 
Star, said, "Adams is a good speaker and a fine ser- 

In conversation he is very entertaining, and impresses 
one with the fact that he is a deep thinker. He is fre- 
quently called the "boy preacher." The Bible and 
human nature are his text-books. He carefully pre- 
pares his sermons, which are always interesting and 
instructive to the hearers. His fraternal address deliv- 
ered before our Conference last May was frequently 
punctured with applause and highly commended. — J. W. 
Smith, in Star of Zion. 


The subject of our sketch first saw the light in Halifax, 
N. S. , on January 1 , 1 846. The circumstances of his child- 
hood and youth were such as to develop the masterful traits 
of character which have stood him in such good stead in 
all his later life. Being early deprived of parents, and 


hampered by other infelicities of home life, he was thrown 
out to make his own way in the world. Young Goler en- 
joyed for a time the advantages of the public schools of the 
city of Halifax, and these advantages he used with his 
characteristic diligence and application until his fifteenth 
year, when he was apprenticed to the firm of Coleman & 
Brown, bricklayers and plasterers of that city. In 1867, 
during a revival held by Rev. Stephen Goosley, then 
pastor of Zion Church at Halifax, he was happily con- 
verted. He at once became an active member of the 
church. Rev. R. R. Morris, now Dr. Morris, Superin- 
tendent of the Sabbath School Union of the African 
Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, was pastor in the city 
of Halifax, and personal contact with Dr. Morris and the 
doctor's sermons greatly impressed Mr. Goler and exerted 
upon him an influence which strengthened and stimulated 
him in after years. Although Mr. Goler felt drawn to 
the ministry his high ideas as to the preparation of head 
and heart necessary to the right performance of the 
solemn duties of the gospel ministry caused him to shrink 
even from making it known. But, faithful to the inner 
voice that prompted him to go and preach, he decided to 
leave his home and kindred for the purpose of preparing 
himself to heed the call. 

In 1870 he went to Boston and entered upon the pros- 
ecution of the business of his trade. He stuck to his 
business with great industry and economy for three years, 
during which time he reaped some of the large pecuniary 
harvest which was the good fortune of Boston contractors 
during those years of plenty, and saved up therefrom the 
means upon which he entered Lincoln University, in 1873. 


Having given most of his time to manual pursuits up to 
this period, it was but natural that he should find himself 
at a disadvantage in entering the regular college depart- 
ment of the university, but he was able to enter the fresh- 
man class after only one year in the preparatory depart- 

In the year 1875 he met E. Moore, now Dr. E. Moore, 


of Livingstone College. This is a notable incident in the 
life of our subject, because he and Dr. Moore have been 
associated as fellow-professors in Livingstone College for 
the past ten years. At the same time he also met Dr. 
J. C. Price. He and Dr. Price at once became attached 
to each other, and there sprang up between them a friend- 
ship which was only strengthened with the passing years. 
During the summer months he earned money enough by 


all sorts of honorable labor to defray his expenses during 
each succeeding school term. He graduated in June, 
1878, the valedictorian of his class, and received the 
degree of A.B. In September of the same year he 
entered the theological seminary connected with his 
alma mater, and Rev. J. C. Price was his classmate. He 
took the full three years' seminary course, and graduated 
in April, 1881, with the degree of B.D. While prosecuting 
his course in theology he, in company with Revs. Dr. J. 
C. Price, S. P. Wood, and Dr. W. H. Weaver, traveled 
extensively in the interest of the university, going into 
the principal cities of New York State, Pennsylvania, 
Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan. In 1883 he accepted 1 
from Dr. Price an invitation to join him in the work at 
Livingstone College, then Zion Wesley Institute, but he 
did not enter fully upon duty there until March; 1884. 
He preached the first annual sermon for the college at its 
commencement in 1884, when the eloquent and lamented 
Bishop S. T. Jones, D.D., delivered the annual oration. 
This sermon might perhaps be termed in some sense Pro- 
fessor Goler's inaugural address at Livingstone, for by his 
sound views, eloquently expressed, he won every heart 
and placed himself before the trustees and church as an 
eminently desirable man for a place in the faculty of the 
institution as professor, either in the classical or theo- 
logical department. Thus it came to pass that Professor 
Goler was regularly installed as a member of the faculty 
of Livingstone College. 

During the first year of his professorship at Livingstone 
he held the pastorate of St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal 
Church at Winston, but soon withdrew from the Metho- 


dist Episcopal Church, and was received by Bishop Hood 
into the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. He 
was appointed by Bishop Jones to the Salisbury (N. C.) 
station, where he remained three years, inspiring the 
entire Church with new life and giving it new impetus. 
It was Professor Goler who conceived the idea of ' ' The 
Soldiers' Memorial Church " and started the fund for that 
purpose. He gave inception to the plans which were 
wrought out so admirably by Rev. P. A. McCorkle in the 
building of the magnificent new church at Salisbury. By 
this time Professor Goler had shown that he could do 
things that few others could do, and so Bishop Moore 
appointed him to Winston to restore Zion's footing in 
that growing city. During an incumbency of two years 
he succeeded in bringing Winston up from a mere point 
on a circuit to be a creditable station. Against untold 
and unknown odds he recovered Zion's lost ground there 
and erected for the connection a fine brick church, one 
of the handsomest houses of worship in the State. All 
this was done at great personal sacrifice and labor. Not 
only did he give freely of his small salary, but labored 
incessantly with his own hands on the walls of the build- 
ing, and did not come down until it was finished. He 
was then sent by Bishop Moore to Greensboro to do a 
similar work. In this he was compelled to begin at the 
beginning — even to the extent of effecting a permanent 
organization for the connection in that city. This he 
soon did, and then secured a most eligible site for a 
church. He erected a temporary chapel, and proceeded 
to formulate plans and raise money for the elegant new 
church to be built there. Professor Goler's merits and 


distinguished ability soon gave him the position of a 
leader in his new Conference, a position which can be at- 
tained by a new man only through rare talents and genu- 
ine force of character. 

Professor Goler, in order to complete his equipment 
for the large field which he was now to occupy, betook 
to himself a companion to lighten up the path of life's 
devious way. 

He married Miss Emma Unthank, the accomplished 
daughter of Mr. Harmen Unthank, a leading citizen of 
Greensboro, N. C. In this selection he showed a pecul- 
iar genius for the good, the true, and the beautiful, all of 
which are highly characteristic of Mrs. Goler ; and one 
can think of Dr. Goler's success only in the light of Mrs. ' 
Goler's constancy and helpfulness. His energy and use- 
fulness caused ,him to be chosen a delegate to represent 
his Conference in the General Conference of 1888, held 
in New Berne, N. C. He played his part in this session 
of the chief council of the Church with such dignity and 
power that the brethren were impressed that he was 
an eminently fit man to be returned, and consequently 
he was among the first of the delegates to be elected 
to the General Conference of 1892, to be held in Pitts- 
burg, Pa. 

The best evidence of his standing in this session of the 
General Conference is in the fact that he was chosen the 
fraternal messenger to represent the connection in the 
General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
then in session in Omaha, Neb. He was also chosen a 
member of the commission on behalf of the African 
Methodist Episcopal Zion Church to confer with a like 


commission of the American Methodist Episcopal Church 
on the subject of organic union. 

In April, 1891, he received from Lincoln University the 
honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity, an honor un- 
sought, but thoroughly merited. The reader may get 
an idea what estimate is placed by his alma mater upon 
Dr. Goler's worth and ability from the following state- 
ment of Dr. I. N. Rendall, the president of the univer- 
sity. Dr. Rendall says: " He (Dr. Goler) is one of our 
best men, in ability, in attainment, and in character. His 
self-sacrificing and successful work in Livingstone College, 
as an associate of the late President J. C. Price, reflects 
great credit on his alma mater." In this statement 
Dr. Rendall has called attention to Dr. Goler's chief 
work, in speaking of " self-sacrificing and successful 
work in Livingstone College, as an associate of the late 
President J. C. Price." In this did Dr. Goler indeed dem- 
onstrate, not only an unwavering devotion to his be- 
loved chief, but an unselfishness and capacity for labor 
that are no less remarkable than astonishing to all who 
know of his extraordinary work in " Livingstone." The 
trustees of the college showed the high estimate which 
they placed upon this great service by electing him at 
their annual meeting in 1883 to the position of dean 
of the college, with all the powers and prerogatives of 
president when the president should be absent ; and the 
executive committee of the trustee board, at their recent 
annual meeting in Charlotte, unanimously nominated him 
to succeed to the presidency made vacant by the death of 
the lamented Dr. Price. Personally Dr. Goler is one of 
the kindliest and most philanthropic of men, and a 


genial, never-failing friend. As a business man he is 
one of the safest and most prudent. In this he presents 
a splendid but rare combination. It is not a very com- 
mon thing for a successful literary man to demonstrate 
signal financial ability. In many instances they hardly 
command enough money to guarantee to them a compe- 
tence. But in this respect Dr. Goler has honored his 
race, furnishing one of the best illustrations the race has 
of a professional educator who has also through indus- 
try and rigid economy acquired some means, and evinc- 
ing at all times a tact and success in business that, should 
he choose to follow mercantile pursuits, would give him 
high rank in the commercial world. But he has studi- 
ously stuck to his calling as a plain school-teacher and 
humble preacher of the Gospel, all of which is in keeping 
with his modesty and retiring, unassuming habits. 

Dr. Goler is never eager for a conflict, and yet he is 
fearless and independent in the expression of his views, 
and, where honor and duty require it, aggressive and 
unyielding. As a husband and host he is devoted and 
most dutiful, always exerting himself industriously and 
unstintedly for the comfort of his family and the en- 
tertainment of his friends. In placing the subject of 
our sketch at the head of Livingstone College, the trus- 
tee board and connection are to be congratulated. 

In the first place this carries out the implied and ex- 
pressed wish of Dr. Price, whose inestimable services to 
the college and the Church command that his will must 
not be ignored in any place where it can be found out. 
And again, in electing him president, the trustees have 
committed the destiny of the college to the hands of one 


of the best equipped, most resourceful, all-round men, 
not only in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, 
but of the race. S. G. Atkins. 


This Conference was organized by Bishop J. W. Hood, 
September, 1 89 1 . It is the offspring of the Alleghany 
Conference, and includes all that part of the State of 
Pennsylvania lying west of the Alleghany River, and is 
intended to include as much of the State of Ohio as can 
be occupied. At present there are only a few appoint- 
ments in that State. For some reason the connection has 
not made much impression on Ohio. We had a good start 
there in the days of Rev. Joseph Armstrong, a most faith- 
ful and highly respected minister, but he was transferred 
to Washington City, and the work he had so well begun 
was suffered to languish. Rev. Jehu Holliday might have 
pushed on the work, but he was transferred to the Ken- 
tucky Conference. The men who were left to carry on 
this Ohio work were unfaithful. Some let their charac- 
ters run down, some were slow, and some failed to im- 
prove their intellectual capabilities and were unable to 
entertain the people ; so that at the time of the organi- 
zation of the Ohio Conference there were only four 
churches in the State of Ohio. By transfer we now have 
several young and active men in this Conference, and with 
a most efficient presiding elder we hope to see soon an 
improved condition. We cannot expect very rapid prog- 
ress, for broken-down work is harder to build up than 
new work; nevertheless, we hope to see a flourishing 
Ohio Conference. Of the men who have lono; labored in 



this section Revs. J. H. Trimble and George W. Lewis 
are the most distinguished. The present roll is as 
follows : 

Bishop, J. W. Hood. 

Presiding Elder, J. H. Trimble. 

Elders, George W. Lewis, E. J. Little, W. H. Dar- 
sey, R. J. Strother, M. R. Franklin, C. W. M. Cypress, 
H. Ross, H. Butler, D. Mathews, J. S. Cowles, Thomas 
H. Slater, D. G. Moore, C. Campbell, and W. H. Ham- 


This Conference was organized by Bishop C. R. Har- 
ris, D.D., in December, 1891. 


This Conference was organized by Bishop C. C. Pettey, 
D.D., in 1 89 1. Following is the roll of members: 

Bishop, Right Rev. I. C. Clinton. 

Ministers, Revs. E. Hinton, J. Dunning, W. M. 
Weatherspoon, W. W. Thompson, S. L. Deas, D. S. 
Miller, J. R. Iberd, H. Williams, J. Brown, L. W. Lee, 
W. W. Hall, S. P. Meek, C. H. Hood, R. B. Williams, 
J. A. Morris, W. Johnson, L. W. Steward, S. L. Jones, 
S. C. Smith, J. Lucon, E. Gales, G. W. Murphy, F. 
Adams, A. G. Williams, C. A. King, F. Archer, J. R. 
Bickham, J. B. Robeson, H. Blake, A. McNeil, D. P. 
Edwards, L. J. Hendrick, J. R. Blake, R. K. Kerant, 
J. M. Newton. 


Set off by the California Conference in 1892. 



This Conference was formed by Bishop Thomas H. 
Lomax in 1892. It has four presiding elders' districts, 
and covers that region of North Carolina which lies west of 
the Blue Ridge, with the adjoining section of southwestern 
Virginia and the section of Tennessee east of Knoxville. 


The following is the roll of the General Conference 

held at Pittsburg, Pa., in 1892. 

Bishops, Right Revs. J. J. Moore, D.D. ; J. W. Hood, 

D.D. ; J. P. Thompson, D.D., M.D. ; T. H. Lomax, D.D. ; 

C. C. Pettey, D.D. ; C. R. Harris, D.D. ; I. C. Clinton, 

D.D.,* A. Walters, D.D.* 

General Steward, Rev. J. W. Alstork, D.D.* 

General Secretary, Rev. W. H. Day, D.D. • 

Agent of the Book Room, Rev. Jehu Holliday, D.D.* 

Editor Star of Zion, Hon. J. C. Dancy. f 

Editor of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Quarterly, 

Rev. G. W. Clinton, A.B. f 

President of Livingstone College, Rev. J. C. Price, D.D. 
Missionary Secretary, Rev. J. H. Manley, D.D. 
Educational Secretary, Professor S. G. Atkins. 
Sunday School Department, Rev. R. R. Morris, D.D., 

Superintendent; Rev. T. A. Weathington, Secretary. 
Bureau of Statistics, Rev. N. J. Green, D.D. (deceased), 

Chairman; Revs. J. H. White, J. S. Caldwell. 

* These were elected at this Conference. 
t Dancy and Clinton changed places. 



Women s Home and Foreign Missionary Society, Mrs. M. J. 
Jones, President; Mrs. K. P. Hood, Secretary; Mrs. 
Sarah Pettey, Treasurer. 

Publishing Committee, Bishop J. W. Hood, Chairman ; 
Rev. R. H. Stitt, Bishop A. Walters, Revs. W. H. Day, 
J. B. Small, J. H. White. 


The officers of the Book Room included the entire 
Board of Bishops, with an Executive Committee, composed 
as follows: Bishop A. Walters, Chairman; N. J. Green 
(deceased), J. H. White. 


J. C. PRICE, D.D., 
President of Livingstone College. 

We first knew Joseph C. Price, we think, as a little boy 
in Sabbath school, a member of our wife's class, about 
1866 ; but we have a more distinct recollection of him at 
a later date. In 1869 or 1870 we visited the school in New 
Berne, taught by a Miss Merrick (who we think was, at a 
later period, married to the reconstruction governor, 
Reed, of Florida). Joseph Price was, in Miss Merrick's 
opinion, her most promising boy. There was another boy 
in school at that time who was thought by some to be 
Joseph's superior. He was a mulatto, while Joseph was 
a pure black ; and there were those who at that time held 
the idea that whatever smartness the Negro possessed 
was inherited from the Anglo-Saxon race ; such believed 
that in the long run this mulatto boy would excel. Miss 
Merrick, however, pinned her faith to her black boy, and 
well did he vindicate her opinion. We have no need to say 
that she took great interest in his development. Her 
successor was not her equal as a teacher, and Joseph con- 
cluded to seek a better school. He entered Shaw Uni- 
versity, but found it not quite to his mind, and therefore 
went to Lincoln University, from which he graduated. 

About the year 1875 he embraced religion in the Afri- 
can Methodist Episcopal Zion Church at New Berne, N. C. , 
of which church his mother was a faithful member, and 
in the Sabbath school of which he had received his earli- 
est instructions. 

In the year 1876 he was licensed to preach by the 
Quarterly Conference, and in the same year, while still a 



student in college, he was recommended to and received 
into the North Carolina Annual Conference. Objection 
was raised against his admission because he was not pres- 
ent ; but Elder J. A. Tyler was anxious to have him sent as 
a delegate to the next General Conference, and for that 
purpose it was thought necessary to get him in at that 

session. The bishop was 
informed of Elder Tyler's 
purpose, and threw the 
weight of his influence in 
the young man's favor; 
he held that the point 
raised was more a matter 
of custom than of positive 
law. At the next ensuing 
Conference the question 
of ordaining him deacon 
created quite a discussion, 
because he had not trav- 
eled nor held a pastoral 
charge ; he had not even 
met the Conference. The 
bishop could see no ob- 
jection, and the motion 
to ordain him prevailed, the bishop being authorized to 
ordain him at sight. At the end of his third- year he 
was elected to elder's orders, and elected a delegate to 
the General Conference which assembled in Montgomery, 
Ala., May, 1880. 

We know of no other man being thus received into an 
Annual Conference and advanced to deacon's and elder's 



orders and elected a delegate to the General Conference 
without ever having met the Annual Conference. 

The beauty of it was that Brother Price had no part 
whatever in his rapid advancement ; he simply acquiesced 
in what was done. Without his asking it the leaders of 
the church in New Berne recommended him to the pas- 
tor ; the pastor appointed a time for him to preach a trial 
sermon, on which the pastor and leaders recommended 
him to the Quarterly Conference and he was licensed to 
preach, and soon after that was recommended by the 
Quarterly Conference as a candidate for membership in 
the Annual Conference. The pastor carried that recom- 
mendation to the Annual Conference and he was received 
on trial. He was finally received into full connection in 
the Annual Conference, and all these steps were taken 
without any word from him. 

We feel quite sure that he had no idea that he would be 
ordained deacon at the time he was, until after the Con- 
ference had' passed upon it. He may have had some 
previous inkling of his promotion to elder's orders and of 
his election as delegate to the General Conference, and 
yet we are not certain that he had. He failed to meet the 
Conference at its session because he was in school at the 
time of its sittings, and it was thought better to excuse 
him than to put him to the expense of the trip from Lin- 
coln University to the seat of the Conference in North 
Carolina. Not only the expense, but the loss of time 
was considered. 

That the North Carolina Conference could thus favor 
and honor a young man who had done no pastoral work, 
with nothing upon which to base its action except some- 


one's opinion that he was destined to be a great man, 
without strong opposition, was not to be expected. Rev. 
J. A. Tyler, his elder, deserves great credit for the man- 
ner in which he stood by his boy from the time he first 
presented his name to the Annual Conference. There 
were objections when he was received into the Annual 
Conference, objections to his ordinations and to his elec- 
tion as delegate to the General Conference; but in all 
these cases Rev. Tyler espoused his cause. Dr. Price 
certainly knew nothing of these contests till they were 
over ; we are not certain that he ever knew. It was the 
policy of his friends that he should not know, that he 
might not be discouraged. We did not know him then 
as we did later, or we might have spared ourselves the 
fear of his becoming discouraged by opposition. He was 
not made that way. 

At the General Conference in 1880 some of us expected 
opposition to his being seated, and it came. Some busy- 
body informed the Committee on Credentials that Price 
had not traveled four years, as the law squired ; it lacked 
six months of being four years from the time he was re- 
ceived on trial. Here was thought to be a case in which 
it seemed that the law was clearly against his admission ; 
but the bishop of the district from which Price was a del- 
egate heard of the purpose to leave Price out, and he 
went before the committee and convinced them that Price 
ought to be seated, and he was seated without a contest 
on the Conference floor. There was, however, a little 
private grumbling for several days. But in the early 
part of the session a fraternal messenger from the Afri- 
can Methodist Episcopal (Bethel) Church presented his 


credentials, and an hour was fixed for him to deliver his 
message. While he was speaking the bishop, who was 
presiding, beckoned to Price, who approached the altar, x 
and the bishop whispered to him that he wished him to 
respond to the fraternal message. Price returned to his 
seat, and we noticed that his eyes were shut and his lips 
were in silent motion. When he arose to speak there 
were few who had any knowledge of his ability ; and as 
the message to which he was to respond had been fairly 
well delivered by one who wore the title of D.D., there 
was, for the first few seconds, great anxiety, which was 
followed by deep interest, and this, in turn, by astonish- 
ment; finally the entire General Conference was filled 
with uncontrollable rapture, which found vent in most 
hearty applause. 

We have heard Dr. Price on many occasions, when he 
well sustained his reputation as "the world's orator;" 
but never have we listened to him with deeper interest or 
greater satisfaction. than on that occasion. He completely 
vindicated thosex^ho had been charged with pushing 
him forward regardless of law ; and those who had been 
complaining vied with his former friends in lavishing 

The remarkable thing then noticed was that praise did 
not affect him. In all our knowledge of men we have 
never seen another upon whom praise had so little ap- 
parent effect. It absolutely had no perceptible effect 
upon Price. 

Praise causes some to blush and others to boast; it 
makes some feel humble and fills others with pride ; but 
the closest scrutiny could not detect any effect of any 


kind upon Dr. Price. This was one of his peculiar char- 
acteristics and was one of the secrets of his success. He 
was so perfectly at ease under all circumstances that 
everybody felt like accommodating him, and very few 
had the nerve to say " No;" and those who did so put 
it in a shape which relieved it of all harshness. 

After Senator Stanford had given him five thousand 
dollars for Livingstone College he called on Mr. Crocker, 
another millionaire, who could have given him largely if 
he had so chosen, and he was satisfied that Price knew it. 
He thought for a moment and said, "Mr. Price, this 
thing doesn't appeal to me." That, of course, closed the 
effort, for certainly you cannot expect a man to contrib- 
ute to a cause which is out of the range of his sense of 

Dr. Price's denominational career commenced with his 
appearance at the General Conference in 1880. His voice 
was heard in debate upon all the important subjects dis- 
posed of by that assembly, as it ha^b^n v every Gen- 
eral Conference since that time. An*, _%.,, the institution 
upon which he has so completely fixed bis impress, and for 
which he labored so hard and faithfully, received but lit- 
tle attention from him at that time. We do not remember 
that he took any prominent part in securing its adoption 
by the General Conference as a connectional institution. 
It was then known as the Zion Wesley Institute, pro- 
jected by the North Carolina Conference and incorporated 
by the Legislature of North Carolina. It was simply on 
paper, however, like many other projects. 

The church at Concord had donated seven acres of land 
to secure its erection at that place ; but nothing had been 


done in the way of erecting buildings. It, however, had 
been decided to open school at that place the following 
winter. Rev. C. R. Harris (now bishop) had been elected 

. It was in 1881 that Dr. Price began to be known in all 
the world, first by his speeches in North Carolina during 
the Prohibition campaign in that State. Hon. William 
E. Dodge, of New York, was asked to assist in' that cam- 
paign, and he agreed to furnish one speaker of his own 
selection. Price was the person selected, and no other 
speaker made a better impression. White ladies who had 
never listened to a Negro orator before were so pleased 
that they lavished bouquets of flowers upon him, and the 
best men of the State were proud to occupy the same 
platform with him. 

During the same year he was sent as a delegate to the 
great Ecumenical Conference which assembled in City 
Road Chapel, London, England. It was there that, in a 
five-minute sj. ^V^e, secured the attention of the world, 

for which he wflOalled "the world's orator." The 
wonder to people was that, while he was a stranger to 
nearly all the delegates, the audience seemed to know 
him. The secret was that he had captured an audience 
of about two thousand people at the town of Hastings, 
where he had lectured a few days previous, and there 
were possibly a hundred of those who had heard him 
there who had come to London hoping to hear him again ; 
they were scattered about in the galleries, and hence when 
he arose to speak there were calls for Price from all 
parts of the house, except that portion reserved for the 


To intensify the feeling in Price's interest, the chair- 
man had made the mistake of assigning the floor to another 
speaker by a private understanding, although it was 
evident that Price had addressed him first. The speaker 
to whom the floor was thus assigned fumbled with his 
manuscript till his time was up, and made nothing clear. 
During the five minutes thus wasted the audience had 
been swelling with impatience, and when Price made the 
second attempt to get the floor the unanimous call for 
him indicated to the chairman that they did not intend 
to be cheated again. As his clear voice rang out over 
that vast assembly in most polished English, he was heard 
in all the committee rooms, and committees, breaking off 
from their work, stopped and asked each other, ' ' Who is 
it that is creating such extraordinary enthusiasm? " The 
committee rooms were soon deserted, and the doorways 
leading to them were filled with delegates who had left 
their work in the committees to se ej% io or what manner 
of man it was who had set the^ aference wild with 
pleasing emotions. Five minute^t^SBbefore seemed 
to pass so quickly, and when the'chairm*am's gavel fell 
the audience cried with one voice, "Go on." Nor did 
they cease until the chairman stated that Mr. Price had 
too great a sense of propriety and was too orderly to go 
on contrary to rule. A little later, however, on the 
same day, Price again got the floor, and we had another 
explosion. So it continued until the Conference closed. 
He was the favorite of the audience, and the sound of 
his voice was the signal for the wildest enthusiasm, no 
matter how dull the session may have been before he 
began to speak. 


At Bristol a grand reception was given to the dele- 
gates from abroad in a hall which held three thousand 
five hundred people. Price was kept back for the last 
speaker so as to hold the audience. It is hard work to 
hold an English audience after nine o'clock. Bishops 
Peck and Walden and other white men spoke. Bishop 
Walden's speech was a little lengthy, and some became 
impatient and started to go ; but when he closed and 
Price arose (about ten o'clock) you would have thought 
that the roof was coming off the house. Those who had 
started out turned back, and when he stopped they 
repeatedly cried, " Go on," though it was nearly eleven 

On his way to England the bishop who had chosen 
him as delegate informed him of his purpose in selecting 
him, namely, that'* he might make use of his (Price's) 
oratorical powers in raising at least ten thousand dollars 
for Zion Wesley Institute. Price thought for a while, 
and finally agreed *to undertake it. We know it cost 
him a struggle, fb^fe had other plans in his own mind. 
He had intended ^pending several months in Europe 
seeing the Old World and lecturing in his own interest. 
There might have been more money in that for him at 
that time, but we all know now that he took the wisest 
course. In fact, it was his good fortune generally to 
take the wisest course. His action in this case was the 
more honorable because the connection had furnished no 
money to send him. The money he received from Mr. 
Dodge for his temperance work in North Carolina sup- 
plied him the means for this trip, which he thought he 
was taking for his own personal benefit. We presume he 


remembered how his friends in the North Carolina Con- 
ference had stood by him, advancing him step by step, 
and also the honor conferred in his appointment as a 
delegate to this great Conference, which had given him 
a great opportunity ; and his fine sense of gratitude due 
for what had been done for him forbade his refusing this, 
the first thing he had ever been asked to do for the 

We have no doubt he also called to mind how pleased 
his mother would be to know that he was at work for the 
Church, for which work, to prepare him, she had sacrificed 
so much. 

When we requested certain Wesleyan ministers to form 
a board and take charge of his financial efforts in Eng- 
land, they hesitated on account of his youth and bril- 
liancy, and the fact that the ladies were so charmed 
by his eloquence. And it is a fact beyond question 
that no other man in all the four hundred delegates was 
so much a favorite as he. But we pledged them our 
honor for his good conduct. From his boyhood we re- 
garded him as a model of purity and honor, and we were 
willing to put our honor at stake for his good behavior. 
They accepted the bond and took charge of his work ; 
and when it was finished and he had returned to this 
country, the president of the board wrote us that Mr. 
Price had fulfilled our word and vindicated our honor ; 
that he had watched him personally, and had the testi- 
mony of others that there was not the smallest variation 
from the reputation we had given him. He went further, 
and spoke of Price's ability as an orator of an extraordi- 
nary order. To give us an idea of his estimate, he said : 


" He is not an orator of the American type, but that of 
a cultured Englishman." Intensely English as he was, 
he could have said nothing stronger. 

We told Price that we wanted him to raise at least ten 
thousand dollars, and, including what was given him on 
traveling expenses while in England, he raised just that 
amount. We were assured that if he had remained longer 
he could have raised twenty-five thousand dollars. It 
was our hope to have him go back and raise the balance. 
The state of his health, of which he had been fully sensible 
for many months, was the main thing that prevented 
him ; he was doubtful whether he could stand another 
voyage across the ocean. We hope some one will yet 
rise up to complete that work. 

While Mr. Price was in England the news of his suc- 
cess reached this country, and the white people of Salis- 
bury, hearing of our purpose to establish a college, 
offered one thousand dollars if we would locate in that 
city. This offer was accepted, and the present location 
was purchased with money raised by Price, added to 
the one thousand dollars subscribed by the white people 
of Salisbury. 

Mr. Price returned in the fall of 1882, and was elected 
president. He secured from the Legislature an amend- 
ment changing its title from " Zion Wesley Institute" to 
" Livingstone College." 

During the first six years of Price's management of 
the institution, associated with Bishop Harris, it pos- 
sessed a religious power beyond any institution that we 
have ever known. Bishop Harris's great piety in the 
schoolroom and Dr. Price's force of character, both 


within and without the institution, constituted a religious 
force which sin itself seemed powerless to resist. 
Scarcely could any one, male or female, go there and not 
embrace religion. We speak without fear of successful 
contradiction when we assert that it is the best of all the 
schools in the land established for the education of the 
Negro. Others are good on one or more lines ; this is 
good on every line. 

Dr. Price enforced the idea of an education which in- 
cluded the culture of the head, the hand, and the heart ; 
and you will see his impress upon his students if you 
watch them, scattered as they already are in various 
parts of this broad land. 

Dr. Price had not the power to read character quickly, 
but he could soon discover by practical tests whether or 
not a man was suited to the work ; and he had the 
courage to tell a teacher that he must adapt himself to 
the peculiar demands of the situation as he understood 
it, or give it up. This ability to discover quickly a man's 
capacity by practical tests atohed for his lack of power 
to read character at sight. 

Dr. Price was not only an educator ; he was deeply in- 
fatuated with a desire for the elevation of his race, and 
the school was to him simply a means to that end. His 
lectures, his essays, his sermons, and his social inter- 
course were all charged with the same holy mission. We 
used to regard him as especially a splendid lecturer ; we 
were disappointed in the effect of his sermon at Hastings, 
England (the only one we heard him preach in that 
country) ; it was well prepared and clearly delivered, but 
it did not seem to affect the audience as we had hoped it 


would. They were attentive, but not responsive, as they 
had been in the morning service. The trouble was, it 
lacked the usual pathos that was expected by an English 
audience in a Negro preacher's discourse. But his pathos 
increased as time wore on, and in later days his preach- 
ing became as eloquent and enthusiastic as his lecturing, 
and the last sermon we heard him preach was a master- 
piece, both in matter and the power of its delivery. We 
have seldom heard its equal from any man's lips, and 
have never heard it excelled. 

Dr. Price's end was not unexpected to himself, and 
there were a few of his friends who were warned of the 
sad coming event. Six months or more before his death 
a distinguished doctor in Boston said that he had Bright's 
disease, and that his case was incurable ; that the end 
might come at any time, and certainly would within a 
few months. When we met him at the Commencement 
last May we noticed that he was losing flesh rapidly and 
seemed feeble, and at times wore an expression which 
produced sadness in us. We felt a strong sympathy for 
him at that time. 

Early in July, 1893, we met him at Elizabeth City; he 
seemed better and spoke with much of his usual eloquence 
and power ; but the last of August, after his stroke of pa- 
ralysis, we saw him again and realized that the end was 
fast approaching. On the 10th of October we met him in 
Philadelphia, and we took supper together for the last 
time. He had been to Saratoga for a month by the ad- 
vice of a physician in New York, who had told him to 
come back to see him at the end of a month. He had 

done so, but received little encouragement, and was on 


his way home to die. He talked cheerfully about his 
condition and about the outlook for the connection and 
its several interests. He was especially pleased at the 
appointment which had just been made to the church in 
Boston. We felt then that we should never see him 
again in this life. 

We know of no man who has accomplished so much for 
the benefit of mankind and for his own imperishable 
glory in so short a period. Like a splendid meteor he 
blazed and flashed and passed away ; but unlike that, he 
has left behind him a monument which shall endure for 
ages, yea, till time shall be no more. 

Dr. Price is not dead, but sleepeth ; there is no death 
for such a man. John says he was told to write, 
' ' Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from hence- 
forth : Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from 
their labors; and their works do follow them." The 
institutions they establish or advance continue ; their 
works go on, and still go on ; the movements which they 
set in motion roll on with ever-increasing magnitude 
and velocity, like the river which is made up of innu- 
merable smaller streams which empty into it, increasing 
the volume of its waters till it empties into the ocean 
and is there swallowed up. 

We see a Fenderson, a Colbert, a Stitt, a Bloice, a Cald- 
well, a Blackwell — all the outcome of Price's work — 
keeping the ark moving, pushing on the work which 
Price so well begun. They are the results of his work- 
manship; they live, and he still lives in them, as in 
others also who have come out from the same institution. 
Thus, in the language of the angel which talked with 


John from heaven, "his works do follow him; " and 
looking down the untold ages, as the fruits of the labors 
of the countless numbers of others, trained by those wljo 
have been trained by him, shall appear upon the stage and 
perform their parts, still carrying on the blessed work of. 
lifting up humanity and conveying gladness to the 
hearts of men, we have an exhibition of the wonderful, 
work of this great man. No, Price is not dead ; he lives.; 
in the men he labored to make, and will live on in the- 
men they, in their turn, labor to make ; and on and 
still on the stream of his usefulness will roll through 
time until time is swallowed up in the ocean of eter- 
nity. Eternity alone will tell the size of the movement 
set in motion and so faithfully advanced by his untiring 

However strange his early departure may appear to 
us, God knows why it was best. For about a year, accord- 
ing to the best information we have, Dr. Price had been 
almost continually preaching from one text, "It is ex- 
pedient for you that I go away: if I go not away, the 
Comforter will not come unto you." We all know that 
this was the language of Jesus to his disciples. But it 
may be that the Holy Spirit thus moved upon Dr. Price 
to warn us of his own departure. 

In New Berne, last November, at the place where he 
commenced his ministry, he preached from this text, 
and it was the last that he ever preached in that place. 
On his last visit to Elizabeth City, the place of his birth, 
he preached from this same text and bade them farewell 
forever. The last sermon we heard him preach was 
preached in Providence, R. I., and that was his text. We 


were struck with the wonderful power with which he de- 
livered that discourse in a hall the sound of which was so 
bad that it was almost killing for any one to preach. 

In our shortsightedness, and in -our propensity to 
praise those we love, some of us have said that Price's 
place cannot be filled, and so it seems to finite mortals. 
But are we not in danger of being chargeable of limiting 
the infinite One? Great as Price was, God can give us 
his equal if he chooses to do so. We must remember that 
God gave us Price. We think that his place can never 
be filled ; we truly hope that in this we are mistaken. We 
have faith that in God's good providence he has some- 
thing in store for us of which we have no conception. 
Who knows but that the sympathy for the institution 
caused by the apparently untimely death of its distin- 
guished president may induce some one to come forward 
with means to endow the institution ? In such a case we 
should easily realize the force of his text, "It is expe- 
dient for you that I go away." However this may be, 
what we may consider as his dying words and the good- 
ness of God will lead us to hope and expect more from 
his death than could have come from a longer life. 
Hence we shall humbly bow in submission to the will of 
Him who doeth all things well. 

We have been severely tempted at times to complain of 
this strange providence, but are thankful to say that faith 
has gotten the victory. With our departed brother we 
feel that all must be well. He rests from that anxiety, 
that burden of care, which he carried for about ten years, 
and no mortal knows how heavy it was. The sunshine 
in his nature prevented him from showing to others 


what he felt himself ; but he is now really and truly at 

" The eyes he so seldom could close, 

By sorrow forbidden to sleep, 
Now wrapped in immortal repose 

Have strangely forgotten to weep." 

We might mention two lessons that can be learned from 
the life and character of our deceased brother. First, 
the importance of having a purpose in life and stick- 
ing to it. Dr. Price was subject to many allurements, 
many temptations to turn aside from his God-appointed 
work. Distinguished men in other Churches sought 
to draw him off by promises to do better by him than 
Zion Connection could do. Politicians tried to use him 
to their purposes. He could have had a collectorship 
at one time, possibly a seat in Congress, and was offered 
the position of Minister Plenipotentiary to a foreign 
court, as the representative of this, the greatest gov- 
ernment on the face of the globe. But he put these 
things aside and went on with his own work. His admir- 
ers made him appear as a candidate for the episcopal office, 
and we feared at one time that they had succeeded in gain- 
ing his consent ; but at the critical moment he arose to 
the dignity of the brave and true man of God that he 
was and bade defiance to his tempters, declaring his pur- 
pose to stick to that work to which he had consecrated 
his life. He declined each and all these offers with an 
apparent ease that was truly surprising. He had a work, 
and nothing could turn him aside from it. 

The second lesson to which we refer that may be learned 
from his life and character is, that it is not necessary for 
a man to be a white man in order to receive due credit 


for his merit. Many colored men have been discouraged 
because they have seen no hope of reaching the object of 
their desires. Many years ago a brother of ours left 
this country, never to return, he said, because there was 
no chance for a black man here. Whatever ground there 
may have been for this feeling in the past, we learn from 
the success Dr. Price had in overcoming " Negrophobia " 
that success may be attained. 

When Dr. Price made his first great speech before a 
white audience in Raleigh, N. C, in 1881, there was a 
man present who would hardly have put himself to the 
trouble of going to hear a Negro speak. He told us 
soon afterward of his experience on that occasion. It 
was an assembly of the temperance workers of the State, 
composed largely of the best men and women of the old 
North State. After several of the most distinguished 
white orators of the State had addressed that convention 
there were calls from all parts of the house for " Price, 
Price, Price!" This gentleman said that he did not 
know " Price," had never heard of him before; he sup- 
posed, of course, that the man the audience called for 
was some white man : but imagine his surprise when he 
saw, as he put it, "a great big black Negro, with very 
white teeth," walking up the aisle. As the speaker 
stepped upon the platform, faced the audience, and began 
to speak, this gentleman said to himself, " Now Webster 
will catch it ; and as for the ladies, what will become of 
them?" He was almost beside himself with fear that 
something uncouth or unbecoming would be heard. His 
suspense was, however, of very short duration, for the 
speaker had not uttered a half dozen sentences before the 


fear of the gentleman referred to had given place to aston- 
ishment. The black speaker was delivering, in the best 
of English, one of the most eloquent discourses to which 
it had ever been his privilege to listen. He turned to 
the man who sat next to him and saw that his mouth was 
wide open, and that he, like himself, was spellbound by 
the Negro's matchless eloquence. This man was a county- 
superintendent of education, and had long been acknowl- 
edged as one of the leading educators of that section, and 
therefore was, we think, a very competent judge. He ad- 
mitted that Price had convinced him of the capacity of 
the Negro, and changed his ideas respecting the race. 
During the same campaign Dr. Price spoke at Durham, 
which was one of the most intensely Democratic cities in 
the State. Several distinguished white speakers spoke 
on that occasion ; but, as was almost always the case, 
Price was the favorite speaker of the day. 

Knowing, as we do, the power of that silly caste senti- 
ment which holds sway over a vast portion of the white 
people in some sections, preventing them from rising to 
the height of their own real greatness of soul, we regard 
the treatment which Dr. Price received from the white 
people of the South as simply marvelous. On one occa- 
sion, at Spartanburg, S. C, Dr. Price was invited to ad- 
dress the students of a white institution. An institution 
of learning in that section is about the last place where a 
black man is expected to be found, except as a servant. 
In some States there is a law forbidding the coeducation 
of the races. We are not quite certain that it was not a 
violation of the spirit of the laws of South Carolina for 
Price thus to deliver words of instruction to white stu- 


dents (as the laws in many places forbid the teaching of 
white schools by colored teachers). But whoever thought 
of law, or anything else, when it stood in the -way of 
hearing Dr. Price? The students of that institution 
voted him a gold-headed cane, raised the money and 
bought it, and had to hurry to the railroad station to pre- 
sent it to him on the platform while he awaited the com- 
ing of the train. 

At his funeral four of the leading white lawyers of 
Salisbury, asked, and were permitted, to act as pall-bear- 
ers. When we were holding memorial services in the 
Central North Carolina Conference, Dr. Poole, ex-Presi- 
dent of the University of North Carolina, was offered an 
opportunity to make a few remarks. He said, in part, 
that we claimed Price, as we had a right to do, because 
he was a colored man, to which he did not object ; but he 
could not admit that we had an exclusive claim. He, 
too, claimed Price. We claimed him because he was a 
colored man ; he claimed him because he was a man, a 
great and good man, a splendid specimen of our common 
humanity, a most useful citizen of the State of North 
Carolina, an American citizen who had given his life in 
the interest of his State and nation. He claimed him 
also because they had a common birthplace ; they both 
first saw the light of life in the same city — Elizabeth City, 
N. C, was the birthplace of both these distinguished col- 
lege presidents. 

Hon. G. C. Montgomery, a leading Democrat of Con- 
cord, N. C, where the Conference was held, was also 
offered an opportunity to speak, which he embraced ; and 
so great were his emotions that he could not speak calmly. 


He was one of those who were captured by the eloquence 
of Dr. Price in that first great speech at Raleigh in 1881, 
and the spell was still upon him. 

If ever one man exhibited affection for the memory of 
another Mr. Montgomery exhibited, in that speech, his 
affection for the memory of Dr. Price. His manner and 
remarks indicated very much more than mere respect for 
a man or admiration of his eloquence. No other word 
but that which we have used, ' ' affection," can express the 
feeling exhibited by Mr. Montgomery. He showed that 
he was not simply amused by Dr. Price's wit, or enrap- 
tured by his oratory, but he seemed to regard Dr. Price 
as his ideal of splendid manhood. Southern Democrat 
as he was, with all his fancied superiority of the white 
race, the color of Dr. Price's skin did not count at all ; he 
saw no color — he saw simply the orator, the statesman, 
the great leader who did what he could to make the 
world better while he stayed in it, and to leave behind 
him an example worthy of imitation. Mr. Montgom- 
ery voiced the sentiments of thousands of the best white 
men in the Southland ; and the sentiments of the best 
white women have not been publicly voiced, except in 
showers of bouquets lavished upon the deceased on many 

The fact has been mentioned that not a newspaper in 
all the land, as far as known, has published a sentence 
except in his praise. We think it may be said that few dis- 
tinguished men of this or any other age have received so 
little unfavorable criticism as Dr. Price. We repeat that 
from him we learn the lesson that it is not necessary for 
a man to be white to get due credit for real worth. 


Price was certainly a black man. To see anything 
white about him we should have to size him up as a col- 
ored sister sized up Sam Jones. She said, "Brother 
Jones, I loves to hear you preach ; you preaches just like 
a nigger; your face is white, but your heart is black." 
If a white person wanted to compare Dr. Price with him- 
self in color, he would have to make the comparison on his 
heart, and not on his face. J. W. Hood. 


Eli George Biddle, of the New England Conference, 
son of James E. and Sarah J. Biddle, was born at Black 
Rock, Pa. , January 7, 1 844. His father having been killed 
in a railroad accident, he accompanied his mother to Prov- 
idence, R. I., in 1858, attended school there for a short 
time, then was sent to Boston, Mass., and learned the 
trade of sign and fancy painting. 

He was converted and joined the African Methodist 
Episcopal Zion Church in Boston during the pastorate of 
Rev. Sampson Talbot ; shortly afterward he enlisted in 
Company A of the 54th Regiment, Massachusetts Volun- 
teer infantry, and served his country till the close of the 
civil war, being severely wounded at the battle of Fort 
Wagner, July 18, 1863. Returning to Boston in 1865, and 
listening to the admonition of Miss Eliza A. Gardner, the 
present New England Vice President of the Woman's 
Home and Foreign Missionary Society, who was then, as 
now, an active laborer for souls, he reentered upon the 
church work, was soon after made church clerk, and in 1 87 1 
was elected superintendent of the Sunday school, which 
position he retained until 1883. During these twelve years 


the Sunday school of Zion Church, Boston, was the largest 
and in many respects the most efficient of the schools of 
the race in New England. In 1881 he received a local 
preacher's license from the hands of Rev. R. H. G. Dy- 
son, D.D. ; in 1883 joined the New England Annual 


Conference, and was sent by Bishop S. T. Jones to the 
charge at Attleboro, Mass., ordained deacon in Hart- 
ford, Conn., by Bishop Jones in 1884, and by him or- 
dained elder in New Haven, Conn., June, 1885. After 
three years' successful pastorate in Attleboro he was 
appointed to Worcester, Mass., and at the expiration of 


three years' successful labor was appointed by Bishop 
Hood to the New Haven Church, where he served five 
years. May 14, 1894, he was appointed by Bishop Hood 
to the charge of Zion Church, Jersey City. 

In Attleboro, the membership was increased from eight 
to sixty-four, and an embarrassing debt liquidated. In 
Worcester the membership was more than doubled. In 
New Haven outstanding indebtedness was removed and 
the church thoroughly repaired at an expense of nearly 
$2,000, which was paid, the running expenses met, and 
at the same time the church gave more than twice as 
much to the general connectional interests as ever be- 
fore ; the membership was nearly doubled, and the 
church held the lead of the six or seven colored churches 
of the city. 

During this pastorate he was a close and diligent 
student in Yale Divinity School, completing the full 
course in the theological, and pursuing special studies in 
philosophy and ethics in the academical department. 

The subject of our sketch was married September 1, 
1873, to Sarah E., youngest daughter of Rev. William H. 
Decker, of Newburg, N. Y., and he has found in his 
wife a true helpmeet. 


John Campbell Dancy was born in slavery at Tarboro, 
N. C, May 8, 1857. He early exhibited a thirst for 
education, and was, therefore, immediately after the 
close of the war, put under the instruction of the best 
teachers from the North. His father, John C. Dancy, Sr., 
was a skilled mechanic, and was the leading builder and 



contractor of the county. By reason of his intuition, 
genius, and foresight he became a county commissioner, 
the most responsible and honorable office in the gift of 


the county. Hence he kept his son constantly in school, 
determined, as he expressed it, " to make a man of him." 
Young Dancy did not disappoint his father. He studied 


hard and led every class he entered without apparent 
difficulty — finding as much time for play as any other 
student — and he prided himself on his ability as an 
athlete. The teachers never had any trouble with him. 

In 1873 he entered the printing office of the Tarboro 
Southerner, a white Democratic newspaper, as office boy, 
but was soon given a case by direction of the foreman, a 
Scotchman, and in a few months he was an acknowl- 
edged acceptable "typo." The sentiment of the white 
press of the State was decidedly, yea, unanimously, 
against this state of things, and so expressed itself. 
Consequently Dancy left the office and entered school at 
Howard University, Washington, D. C. He soon won 
an enviable position in his class there, but had to leave 
after a short stay, owing to the sudden death of his 
father. He returned home and applied himself to teach- 
ing and study, though only seventeen years of age. 
Through the influence of Hon. John A. Hyman he was 
appointed to a position in the Treasury Department at 
Washington, D. C, which he filled acceptably until he 
resigned, in order to return South and assist in the eleva- 
tion of his people. In the interim, however, he had con- 
tinued his studies at Howard University. The resigna- 
tion astonished many of his intimate friends, as it is 
rarely the case that a person ever resigns, unless asked 
to do so ; but his resignation was voluntary, as the accept- 
ance of the same shows. He is strict in his attendance 
upon religious service, delights to beg for money for 
Church purposes, and always has a regular class at 
Sunday school, which he credits largely for any suc- 
cess he has had in life. He loved his mother with a 


devotion bordering on worship, and when she died, in 
December, 18 91, he was powerless to overcome the shock 
for a long while. She was his guide and counselor 
always. He was secretary of the State Convention of 
Colored Men held at Raleigh, N. C, in 1887, and chief 
secretary of all the State Republican conventions held in 
the State since 1880, including 1880, 1884, 1886, 1888, 
and 1890. The general verdict is that as a reading 
clerk he has but few, if any, superiors. All these con- 
ventions except the first named were composed chiefly 
of white men. He was president of the convention of 
colored men held at Goldsboro, in 1881, to consider the 
all-absorbing question of placing colored men on the jury 
in all the counties of the State. His speech on that 
occasion attracted wide attention. He opposed ring rule 
in his county, and led the opposition which resulted in 
its overthrow in 1878. Two years later he was elected 
Register of Deeds of Edgecombe County by over two 
thousand majority, leading all the tickets, both State and 
national. His canvass that year as the leader of his 
party was one of the most memorable in the history of 
the county, and the victory was correspondingly complete. 
He was reelected in 1882, but was defeated in 1884, 
owing to a split in the party. It seemed to be a year of 
disaster to the best Republican hopes almost everywhere. 
He was the chairman of the Republican Executive Com- 
mittee of Edgecombe County for eight years, and always 
led the party to certain victory. He claimed to be the 
original Blaine Republican of the State, having declared 
at once for him on hearing his memorable speech against 
giving amnesty to Jefferson Davis in the House of Repre- 


sentatives in the winter of 1876. In later years his love 
for the Maine statesman greatly abated, owing to the 
latter's indifference to the recognition of colored men in 
official positions. 

Mr. Dancy has been a member of three National Re- 
publican conventions. In 1888 he represented the State 
at large in the memorable convention held at Chicago. 
He received the highest vote of any man running, a 
majority of the convention being white men, and several 
whites running against him. He seconded the nomina- 
tion of General John A. Logan at Chicago in 1884 and 
of Hon. John Sherman in 1888, and on each occasion 
captivated the convention by his eloquence and ringing 
sentences. Hon. Frederick Douglass declared his speech 
in favor of Mr. Sherman one of the best he had heard, 
and ex-Governor Foraker, who also spoke, declared it 
"timely, able, and brilliant." The newspapers paid 
him many high compliments. 

During the campaign, by direction and request of the 
National Committee, he canvassed the white districts 
of the western part of Virginia, and also Tennessee and 
West Virginia, to assist in allaying color prejudice, 
and the people turned out to hear him by the thou- 
sands. He spoke day and night, and made a favorable 
impression everywhere. 

In 1892, by request of the National Republican Execu- 
tive Committee, he canvassed Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana, 
and met an ovation everywhere. At the capitol in 
Springfield, 111., the home of Lincoln, the daily papers 
pronounced his speech one of the grandest delivered 
there during the campaign. 


During President Harrison's administration he was 
indorsed by a convention of colored men of his native 
State for minister to Hayti. His merits and valuable 
services were not rewarded by this appointment, but by 
the appointment as collector of customs at the port of 
Wilmington, N. C. This office had not been held by a 
colored man before, and the fact that Mr. Dancy's ap- 
pointment to it met the approval of black and white Re- 
publicans alike attested his popularity with his party. 
He easily furnished the required bond, $40,000. The 
significant part about this was that his bondsmen were 
colored men. Mr. Dancy held the office three years. 
Upon turning the office over to his successor the highest 
praise was given him for his management of affairs. 
There was no adverse criticism of any kind, and Dem- 
ocratic officials testified that there was no office in the 
Treasury Department with a better record. 

Mr. Dancy went abroad in 1879 as a delegate from his 
State to the Right Worthy Grand Lodge of Good Tem- 
plars, and was elected marshal of that body. He attended 
the previous meeting in Boston, in 1878, when he first 
heard the great orator, Wendell Phillips, welcome the 
body to Boston. 

He spoke at the great Henrique's Cirque in Liverpool, 
with Joseph Malins, the well-known temperance advocate, 
and Rev. George Gladstone, of Scotland, nephew of the 
great English statesman, to about five thousand people, 
and at Crystal Palace, in London, with Dr. Talmage, 
where forty thousand people were assembled. He lec- 
tured extensively in England, Ireland, Scotland, and 
Wales. He afterward lectured in his native State. 



Mr. Dancy is considered the most prominent layman 
in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. He 
has helped to make the laws of this Church in four Gen- 
eral Conferences. Twice have the African Methodist 
Episcopal and African Methodist Episcopal Zion Churches 
met through representatives in joint commission to for- 
mulate a platform upon which they might unite. The 
first meeting proved futile, so far as desirable results 
were concerned. The second has shared a similar fate. 
He was a member of the commission in each case, and 
ably represented his Church. He was chosen editor of 
the Star of Zion by the Board of Bishops in 1885, after 
having successfully edited the North Carolina Sentinel at 
Tarboro for three years. He was unanimously reelected 
by the General Conference at New Berne, in May, 1888 
— a high compliment to a layman, indeed. He was 
appointed a member of the Centennial Conference of 
Methodism which met at Baltimore in December, 1884, 
but could not attend. 

At the General Conference in Pittsburg, 1892, he re- 
signed the editorship of the Star of Zion, being succeeded 
by Rev. George W. Clinton. However, he was urged to 
become editor of the African MetJwdist Episcopal Zion 
Quarterly, which had been founded and edited by Rev. 

Twice has he delivered the annual address to literary 
societies of Livingstone College, the last time repre- 
senting Colonel Alexander McClure, editor of the Phila- 
delphia Times, who could not be present. 

The most recent honors bestowed upon him by his 
Church were his election as trustee of Livingstone College, 


to succeed the late Bishop Moore, and his being made 
general manager of the Centennial Jubilee to be held at 
New York in September, 1896. 

He has been twice married. His first wife was Miss 
Laura G. Coleman, of Morganton, N. C, a most beautiful, 
lovable, and accomplished young lady. Five children 
were the result of this happy union, two boys and three 
girls ; two girls died in infancy. Mr. Dancy sustained a 
great loss in the untimely death of his first wife in 
December, 1890. In March, 1893, he married Miss 
Florence Virginia Stevenson, another very beautiful and 
accomplished lady of Allegheny City, Pa. She is a most 
amiable lady, a perfect queen in the home, and her rare 
literary talents contribute greatly to the success of his 
journalistic pursuits. 

When he took charge of the Star of Zion it was an 
obscure sheet, but the brightness of his editorials soon 
brought it into national prominence, and to-day it is con- 
sidered one of the leading journals of the race. As editor 
of the Quarterly he sustains his reputation of being 
naturally adapted to journalism. He is in great demand 
as a public speaker, and well sustains his reputation 
wherever he is heard. He is now chairman of the Exec- 
utive Committee of the National Afro-American Press 

He is a close student and reads the best literature and 
newspapers. His editorials evince careful preparation 
and mature thought. He takes great delight in defend- 
ing his race against the aspersions and criticisms of its 
enemies, and in this he is a foeman worthy of the best 
of their steel. 



The following are the delegates by Conferences to 
the latest General Conference in the order of organ- 
ization : 

New York. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. Jacob Thom- 
as, D.D. ; R. H. Stitt, M. A. Bradley, Adam Jackson, 
George E. Smith. Lay Delegates, Benjamin Judd, Fannie 
B. Vanbrunk. 

Philadelphia and Baltimore. — Ministerial Delegates, 
Revs. J. W. Smith, J. B. Small, D.D. ; J. E. Price, J. 
H. Anderson, Thomas H. Scott, Logan Johnson, G. W. 
Offley, D.D. ; R. H. G. Dyson, D.D. ; J. S. Cowles. Lay 
Delegates, John Henry Butler, J. E. Rodgers. 

New England. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. N. J. 
Green, D.D. ; S. C. Birchmore, G. L. Blackwell, E. 
George Biddle. Lay Delegates, J. B. Colbert, G. H. S. 

Allegheny. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. Jehu Holli- 
day, G. W. Clinton, A.B. Lay Delegates, J. P. Young, 
H. P. Derrett. 

Genesee. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. P. A. L. Hu- 
bert, S.T.B. ; J. E. Mason, W. A. Ely. Lay Delegates, 
H. J. Callis, H. H. Coleman. 

North Carolina. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. John 
Hooper, R. H. Simmons, J. H. Steward, S. B. Gaskill, 
W. J. Soloman, A. McL. Moore, O. L. W. Smith, F. K. 
Bird, L. R. Ferrebee, W. J. Moore, A. F. Moore, W. H. 
Thurber, L. B. Williams, A. G. Oden. Lay Delegates, 
P. H. Davis, Virgil A. Crawford. 

Louisiana. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. Solomon John- 


son, Logan W. Oldfield, Joseph Seales, John W. Eason. 
Lay Delegates, Hattie James, T. Butler. 

Kentucky. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. E. H. Curry, 
D.D. ; J. B. Johnson, W. H. Chambers, G. B. Walker, 
R. T. Anderson, W. A. Walker, J. M. Washington. 
Lay Delegates, Professor W. H. Lawson, J. B. Foster. 

Tennessee. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. W. H. Fer- 
guson, T. J. Manson, F. M. Jacobs, A.B., B.D. ; B. M. 
Gudger, A. G. Kessler, B. J. Jones, J. H. Manley, D.D. ; 
J. W. Wright, E. J. Carter, T. F. H. Blackman, M. M. 
Montgomery, P. E. Lay Delegates, Professor R. E. Too- 
mey, John Burns. 

Virginia. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. R. A. Fisher, 
D.D. ; C. W. Winfield, J. S. Caldwell, A.M.; W. 
H. Newby, T. R. V. Harrison, H. B. Pettigrew, M. N. 
Levy, J. McH. Farley. Lay Delegate, James M. B. 

South Carolina. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. T. P. 
R. Moore, M. Ingram, F. Killingsworth, J. A. Jackson, 
W. M. Robinson, Y. J. P. Cohen, N. A. Crockett, R. 
A. McCreary, J. B. Ellis, J. H. Jackson, R. W. E. Wilson. 
Lay Delegates, Professor W. R. Douglas, A.B. ; S. E. 

Georgia. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. J. A. Peak, J. 
W. Mills, S. Hall. Lay Delegates, Samuel Brown, Wade 

Alabama. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. W. G. Strong, 
J. W. Cooper, J. W. Alstork, H. P. Shuford, M. G. 
Thomas, T. A. Weathington, R. R. Morris, D.D. ; J. J. 
Taylor, T. L. Holt, A. J. Rodgers, A. S. Watkins, Mat- 
thew Jackson, Allen Hannon, L. A. Oliver, Joseph Gomaz, 


William Finley, S. Deny, C. C. Allison, C. Jermon, J. T. 
McMillan, C. L. W. Hamilton, R. L. Boyd, L. S. Peter- 
son, A. L. Green. Lay Delegates, H. Fewell, H. Judkins. 

California. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. J. H. Brown, 
Tilghman Brown. Lay Delegates, Mrs. J. V. Campbell, 
Mrs. E. E. Davis. 

Florida. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. W. H. Smith, 
S. L. McDonell, B. F. Stevens. Lay Delegates, James 
Brown, E. P. West. 

West Tennessee and Mississippi. — Ministerial Dele- 
gates, Revs. W. L. Carr, J. P. Meacham. Lay Delegates, 
M. Clough, F. E. McConico. 

New Jersey. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. William T. 
Biddle, M. M. Edmondson, B. F. Wheeler, A.M. ; E. M. 
Stanton. Lay Delegate, William H. Vancleif. 

West Tennessee and Mississippi. — Ministerial Dele- 
gates, Revs. W. L. Carr, J. P. Meacham. Lay Dele- 
gates, M. Clough, F. E. McConico. 

Bahama. — Not represented. 

Canada and Michigan. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. 
J. R. Alexander, P. H. Williams, Thomas Lawrence. 

Central North Carolina. — Ministerial Delegates, 
Revs. J. M. Hill, G. H. Miles, A.M. ; J. W. Thomas, J. 
H. Mattox, M. S. Kell, R. Hasty, J. E. McNeil. Lay 
Delegates, Professor E. Evans, P. A. Miles. 

West Alabama. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs William 
Spencer, F. A. Clinton, M. L. Blalock, C. H. Smith, 
S. Sherman, B. Hunter, A. R. Gaines, A. G. Alstork, 
P. J. Mcintosh, A. B. Smyor, W. J. Caver, H. J. Storks, 
J. C. Saunders, A. J. Warner,- G. W. Gaines. Lay 
Delegates, J. S. Jackson, O. B. Goshun. 


Arkansas. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. A. J. Coleman, 

A. F. Goslen, A.M. ; S. L. Carruthers. Lay Delegates, M. 
M. McNair, A. H. Claiborne. 

North Georgia. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. J. E. 
Transue, N. T. Hearn, E. W. Gibson. Lay Delegates, J. 
Smith, J. H. Wheeler. 

Texas. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. M. S. Jordan, G. J. 
Johnson. Lay Delegates, Charles E. Griffin, Mrs. Laura 

Missouri. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. Smith Claiborne, 
J. P. Thompson, J. J. Moore, Adam Wakefield, D. J. 
Donohoo. Lay Delegates, Buford Cates, Henry Hall. 

South Florida. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. Joseph 
Sexton, J. N. Clinton, W. C. Vesta, George W. Maize. 
Lay Delegates, James H. Hannibal, Thomas Simmons. 

North Louisiana. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. J. W. 
Johnson, W. S. Davis. Lay Delegates, R. W. Williams, 
H. R. Watson. 

Western North Carolina. — Ministerial Delegates, 
Revs. J. A. Tyler, D.D. ; M. V. Marable, W. H. Goler, 
A.M., D.D.; M. R. Franklin, H. L. Simmons, E. L. 
Campbell, G. H. Hains, A.M. ; R. A. Morrissey, A.B. 
Lay Delegates, Professor S. G. Atkins, A.M. ; J. T. Wil- 
liams, M.D. 

PALMETTO. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. E. Hinton, 
H. Blake, S. T. Meeks, R. E. Wilson, S. R. Gatteroy, 

B. F. Walker. Lay Delegates, J. H. Dennis, R. B. 

Ohio. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. W. H. Snowden, 
J. H. Trimble, J. H. McMullen. Lay Delegates, Robert 
Holms, D. S. Curtis. 


South Mississippi. — Ministerial Delegates, Revs. D. J. 
Adams, J. E. P. Marshall. Lay Delegates, M. W. Spaight, 
A. J. Prindle. 

Total number of Conferences represented, 29 ; total 
number of ministerial delegates, including bishops and 
general officers, 192 ; lay delegates, including ladies, 64. 

Among the lay delegates were several young men of 
very fine promise, among the more conspicuous of whom 
were the following: Hon. J. C. Dancy, Collector of the 
Port of Wilmington, N. C. ; Professor S. G. Atkins, 
principal of the graded school at Winston, N. C. : H. B. 
Derrett, of Johnstown, Pa. ; Professor P. H. Davis, of 
Beaufort, N. C. ; Professor W. R. Douglas, of South 
Carolina; Professor R. E. Toomey, of Greenville (Tenn.) 
High School ; Dr. J. T. Williams, of Charlotte, N. C. 

The able and distinguished ministers were too numer- 
ous to mention. They constituted a body of which both 
the Church and the race at large had a right to be proud. 
According to the statements of the papers it was by all 
odds the most orderly of the three General Conferences 
then in session ; indeed, it would be hard work to find a 
body of the same size more orderly. There was intense 
earnestness, which is to be expected in a meeting of such 
importance. Sometimes the chairman creates confusion 
by failing to decide quickly who has the floor when several 
arise nearly at one time. It is the custom with some 
bishops to say, " I cannot decide; all be seated." They 
sit down and try it again and again, and sometimes sev- 
eral minutes are lost in this way amid much confusion. 
The fault in such cases is in the chairman ; it is his busi- 
ness to decide at once. If there is an interesting discus- 


sion going on he should be careful not to show favor to 
either side. If it is known that he is on one side he 
will need to be specially careful not to show favor to that 
side. If he guards this point well his recognition of 
members will give general satisfaction, even if he should 
make some mistakes. Besides this, from his position on 
the platform, if he is attentive to his business, he will see 
as quickly as any one can who arises and addresses him 
first. It is also the business of the chairman to study the 
faces of the members, that he may know them and be 
able to announce the name of the person recognized. 

There were two things done by the General Conference 
which were liable to unfavorable criticism. The first was 
the election of general secretary out of time. The law pro- 
vides that the general secretary shall be elected on the 
last day of the session. The real object of this law was 
that his term of office should commence at the close 
of the General Conference, so that if there was a new 
secretary elected the retiring one should continue in 
office till the close of the General Conference. It is easy 
to see the importance of this provision when a new secre- 
tary is elected, and at the same time of how little impor- 
tance the provision is when the secretary is to succeed 
himself. Yet law is law, and ought on all occasions to 
be obeyed. It was claimed by some, after the election 
of the secretary, that the chairman ought to have ruled 
the nomination out of order. But they were all in such 
a happy mood at that time, and there was such unanimity 
of sentiment, that the chairman did not care to exercise 
that prerogative of his own volition. If the point of 
order had been raised he would have been compelled to 


rule ; in the absence of such a demand he failed to take 
the responsibility. Before the General Conference closed, 
however, he had reason to regret that he had not kept 
them strictly to the law ; for on the closing day of the 
session, when more than one half of the members had 
left, a proposition was made to amend the Discipline in 
order to accomplish a special object which had been de- 
feated a day or so before, when the house was full. The 
question of no quorum was raised, and on actual count it 
was found that there was not a quorum present. The 
Discipline provides that " it shall require a majority of 
all the delegates elected to the General Conference to 
constitute a quorum for the transaction of business." 
The whole number, if we include the bishops and others 
who are members by virtue of their office, was 256; but 
if, by strict construction, only those elected by the An- 
nual Conferences are to be taken into account in finding 
a quorum, the whole number would be 230 and a busi- 
ness quorum would be 116. There were found to be 
only 93 present, including all the bisjiops and some of 
the general officers. Yet it was by vote declared that the 
93 then present was a quorum, as follows: 

Resolved, That it is the sense of this General Conference that a major- 
ity of the delegates in attendance at the General Conference shall now and 
hereafter constitute a quorum. 

This being adopted, the presiding officer said that since 

the General Conference had decided that there was a 

quorum present he ruled that the resolution pending was 

adopted. Following is the resolution declared adopted : 

Resolved, That within thirty days after the adjournment of the General 
Conference all circuits and stations held by pastors or presiding elders who 
are salaried general officers shall be declared vacant. 


The spirit of lawlessness could scarcely be better evi- 
denced than by these revolutionary resolutions. They 
show how one of the most sedate and orderly bodies that 
ever assembled could for a moment forget its dignity. 
And why this revolutionary movement? Simply to get 
G. W. Clinton out of John Wesley Church two months 
before his year was out. Somebody else wanted the 

The purpose intended was not accomplished, and could 
not be. The trustees had a contract with him for a year's 
service ; they had informed the bishops that, owing to the 
expense incurred to support the General Conference, 
they, with Clinton, had assumed obligations which made 
it absolutely necessary for him to remain till the close of 
the Conference year. 

The resolution says the charge shall be declared va- 
cant, but does not say who shall declare it vacant. The 
fact is, it is generally possible to drive a horse and wagon 
through all such hasty and ill-considered legislation. The 
bishop has the appointing power in the Methodist Church. 
He is expected to appoint according to his godly judgment. 
If this resolution had been in due form and legally 
adopted, declaring John Wesley or any other pulpit va- 
cant at the end of thirty days, there would have been 
nothing to hinder the bishop from filling the appoint- 
ment with Rev. G. W. Clinton for the remaining two 
months ; and unless he wanted to break up that church 
there would have been nothing else for him to do. The 
principle laid down that a majority of those present con- 
stitute a quorum is a very dangerous one. For if ninety- 
three can declare a majority of themselves a quorum, 


nine or even three can do the same. Any number who 
remained after a majority had left might undo half or 
even all that had been done. A great deal of business 
is done in bodies without a quorum ; but the law respect- 
ing a quorum is to prevent recklessness in the absence of 
the majority. 

The action failed to accomplish its purpose in this 
case ; but the law was permitted to be declared unani- 
mously set aside, because those who saw the evil thought 
it best to let the storm blow itself out. 

We give below the Bishops' Address. 


Coming to the last session of the General Conference for the first hun- 
dred years of our beloved connection, it seems fitting that we should take 
a glance backward over the scene through which we have passed in our 
journey toward the central point in the history of this branch of Immanuel's 

Ninety-six years ago the most important event which has ever taken 
place in the history of the African race in America transpired in the city 
of New York, namely, the organization of the African Methodist Episcopal 
Zion Church. This was not like some other movements which took place 
about that time, or a little later, which simply resulted in the formation of 
colored members into a church under the control of a white organization. 
The St. Thomas Protestant Episcopal Church in Philadelphia was possibly 
formed before the Zion Church in New York, but was, when formed, and 
still is, a colored church in a white organization. The Colored Methodist 
Church at the corner of French and Ninth Streets, Wilmington, Del., was 
formed in 1806, but it was then and still is a part of the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church, and under the control of white bishops. 

The Bethel Church in Philadelphia was organized about 1809, but it was 
organized in the name of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and remained 
under the white bishops till 1816. Zion was not founded as a Methodist 
Episcopal Church, but as the African Methodist Episcopal Church. As 
such it entered into a contract with the Methodist Episcopal Church, in 
which contract two distinct and independent bodies were recognized as 
early as the year 1801. 

The African Methodist Episcopal Church was then a corporate body. 
Zion was not a part of its corporate title at that time, but was the local 


name of the first church. Soon after there were other churches formed, 
which were served by our colored preachers. First among them was the 
Asbury Church in the city of New York. There was also a church at 
Flushing, on Long Island. These formed the nucleus of the present wide- 
extended organization. This was the commencement of that race move- 
ment which has culminated in the establishment of independent organiza- 
tions among the colored people of most of the leading denominations. 
Up to 1864, the period at which the connection started upon its rapid 
growth, there had only been five bishops who gave such satisfaction as to 
be retained in active service until removed by death or retired by reason of 
physical disability. Varick and Galbraith had fallen upon the field of 
battle ; Rush had been retired because of the loss of his eyesight, and was 
very aged and in feeble health, etc. ; Bishop and Clinton were still on the 
field of battle. 

Up to that time six Conferences had been formed, as follows : New 
York, Philadelphia, New England, Alleghany, Tennessee, and the South- 
ern, which included Baltimore and Washington city. In all, 206 ministers 
had been enrolled, of whom 92 were still living ; the number of members 
was about 5,000. There were less than one hundred churches. The 
value of church property was about $200,000. Of the ninety-two minis- 
ters then on the roll, there remain to-day only fifteen, as follows : Bishops, 
J. J. Moore, J. P. Thompson, and J. W. Hood; Elders, W. H. Decker, 
Jacob Thomas, Jeptha Barcroft, James H. Smith,* Peter Coster,* Clinton 
Leonard, John Thomas, N. Williams, Jehu Holliday, R. H. G. Dyson, 
Henry Dumpson, W. T. Biddle, Thomas Harris, and R. R. Morris. 

During the years 1863-64 J. W. Hood, Wilber G. Strong, John Wil- 
liams, and David Hill were sent to the South as missionaries. Hill lived 
only a few months after reaching North Carolina, and John Williams was 
not a success. The work during those years was mainly carried on by Hood 
and Strong, one in North Carolina and the other in the far South. The 
North Carolina Conference was formed in 1864, and out of it the South 
Carolina and Virginia Conferences were formed in 1866. The Louisiana 
Conference was formed in 1865, and out of it Alabama and Georgia Con- 
ferences were formed in 1867. William F. Butler was sent to Kentucky, 
and that Conference was formed in 1866. Since that time seventeen Con- 
ferences have been formed, as follows : The two Florida Conferences, a 
second Georgia Conference, the Palmetto Conference, the Central and 
Western North Carolina Conferences, the two Tennessee Conferences, the 
Arkansas Conference, the second Louisiana Conference, the Texas Confer- 
ence, the California Conference, the Missouri Conference, the Ohio Con- 
ference, the New Jersey Conference, the Canada and Michigan Conference, 
the South Mississippi Conference, and the Oregon Conference. One of the 

* Since deceased. 


original six, the Southern Conference, has been consolidated with the 
Philadelphia Conference, forming the Philadelphia and Baltimore Confer- 
ence. We have at this time twenty-nine Conferences ; we have also the 
nucleus of Conferences in Liberia and in the Bahama Islands. 

This increase of five hundred per cent in the number of Annual Confer- 
ences indicates about the increase in membership. In every other respect, 
however, the advance has been much greater. In 1863 the only thing we 
had in the way of a Church organ was the Anglo- African, simply indorsed 
by the connection. The whole of the Book Concern was carried about in 
the agent's trunk ; we had not even the nucleus of a college or high school 
of any kind ; we had no financial system, and not even a single general 
officer with a fixed salary. 

We have now the Star of Zion, which is acknowledged to be the equal 
of any religious paper published by the race, with several others published 
by our ministers in different parts of the connection. 

Our Livingstone College stands at the head of colored educational insti- 
tutions, and there are several other institutions of ours which promise well 
for the future. We have now a Book Room which is a credit to the con- 
nection. We have an original financial system without a single borrowed 
feature, complete in all its parts, and only needing loyal obedience to its 
requirements by our ministers and members to make it yield all the means 
needed to meet all our immediate demands. 

In place of the self-taught preachers of 1863 we have now a considerable 
number of cultured theologians. In place^of a few old-fashioned houses of 
worship we have now hundreds of temples. Our Church was then hardly 
known, except in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Baltimore, and 
Washington city. Now it is known in all parts of the world. It was the 
very first to contribute its full quota in support of the second Ecumenical 
Conference, for which it was specially commended by the chairman of the 
Finance Committee. It furnished the only colored layman who read an 
address before that body, an address acknowledged to be the equal of any 
one delivered. It furnished the first colored president of that body, and 
there are only three of the sixteen branches of Methodists on this side of 
the ocean which have a larger number of the committee to arrange for the 
next meeting. The three bodies which have a larger representation are 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 
and the Methodist Church of Canada. 

We now proceed to lay before you in a more detailed manner the present 
condition of the Church by districts as reported by the episcopal officers in 
charge during the last quadrennium. In doing so it becomes our painful 
duty to record the demise of the brilliant and eloquent bishop who was 
placed in charge of the Second Episcopal District, Right Rev. Singleton 
Thomas Webster Jones, D.D. After a severe illness of many months 


this distinguished leader of Zion's hosts departed this life on April 18, 
1891, at the ripe age of sixty-six years. The Board of Bishops, then in 
session in Philad.elphia, adjourned in deference to his memory, and at- 
tended the funeral at Washington, D. C, in a body. 

The Conferences comprising the Second District were severally placed in 
charge of Bishops J. W. Hood, C. C. Pettey, and C. R. Harris, and their 
condition will be reported by three episcopal functionaries in connection 
with the districts assigned them. 

Since the General Conference will want to construct its own expression 
respecting the removal of our distinguished colleague, we will not anticipate 
what may be said by any eulogistic remarks at this point. 


This is the smallest of all the districts. It is composed of three Confer- 
ences, including four presiding elders' districts, as follows : New York, 1 ; 
New England, 1 ; Virginia, 2. It is as convenient for travel as could 
possibly be desired. If necessary one half as much more could be added 
without making it too large. Collected for all purposes during the four 
years, $271,367.65. Probable value of church property, $417,110. It would 
be hard work to find anywhere a better state of affairs than that which 
prevails in this district. There is complete harmony and good feeling 
and a manifest interest in whatever tends to the upbuilding of the connec- 
tion. The ministers are so well suited to their work, and the people are 
so well satisfied with their labors, that many of them can remain any 
number of years in one charge, and the matter of appointment gives the 
bishop but little concern. In several instances ministers have been peti- 
tioned for, and they have been returned the fifth year. (This may seem 
to some hardly in keeping with the letter of the Discipline, but the bishops 
have followed the idea that the law is to help, not to hinder, the work ; 
and if we rightly understand that clause in the Discipline which governs 
appointments it is most advantageously used flexibly. We incline to the 
opinion that the fathers built more wisely than they knew, hence we have 
not found it necessary to change our laws, as others have, to keep up with 
the necessities of the times.) 

The ministers receive their appointments, as a rule, with a cheerfulness 
which indicates entire satisfaction, and where there is not enthusiasm there 
is a quiet acquiescence which indicates entire confidence in the appointing 
power. The bishop has confidence in the ministers and the ministers have 
confidence in the bishop, and the people have confidence in both, and the 
general belief is that God inspires what is done. The best evidence of 
this is the general prosperity of the work and the fact that each man seems 
to get where he can do the most good. There are a few churches in this 
district which used to think they could not be suited at all unless they were 


allowed to choose their ministers, but they have now given it entirely up to 
the bishop to exercise his godly judgment. There is not now a single 
church in the district which goes beyond a respectful representation of 
what seems to be its necessities. 

The idea of rejecting a minister sent from the Conference, which used to 
be common, is a thing almost unheard of now. Of course, the bishop takes 
care to inform himself of the condition and wants of each and every church, 
and labors to avoid making mistakes. The bishop has been fortunate in the 
selection of presiding elders. It would be difficult to find more efficient 
elders than the four that have charge in this district. The fact that we 
hear no objection to the system coming from this district is the best evi- 
dence of their efficiency. It is only necessary to get the right men into 
that office to stop the clamor against it by reasonable men. 

Some men never will believe that the yoke of Christ is easy, because the 
one they are wearing, which is heavy, is not his. Such are wolves in 
sheep's clothing, and their barking exhibits their true character. 

To the true Methodist minister the presiding elder's yoke is an easy one, 
and its burden rests lightly upon the faithful. At least such is the senti- 
ment in the First District, and it may be attributed somewhat to the sagac- 
ity and faithfulness of the presiding elders who labor there. 

A considerable number of new houses of worship have been erected 
during the last quadrennium. Some have been finished and others have 
been remodeled, and still others are in course of erection or materials are 
being got together for that purpose. Quite one half of the more than 
$270,000 raised has been spent in this direction. 

At Providence, R. I., the old church which was on the side of the town 
where but few colored people live, and was expensive to reach, has been 
sold and a lot purchased in the heart of the city, near a point at which a 
half dozen street car lines converge. It can be reached from any direction 
by paying a single five-cent fare. It is near enough to be reached by a few 
minutes' walk by members who used to have to pay sixty cents each Sab- 
bath, if they went three times a day. The average saving to each member 
will be at least one half of that amount. If we include the congregation 
the saving by this change will amount to at least $90 per Sabbath, or 
$4,680 a year. This amount of car fare saved would in a few years pay 
for a fine church, to say nothing of the vast increase in the congregation, 
which may be expected in the more convenient location. The lot has been 
paid for, the plan for a new building drawn, and between $3,000 and 
$4,000 raised for building. The work will be commenced when $5,000 is 
in hand. This may be regarded as one of the most important enterprises 
in which we are now engaged, as it will put Zion in the lead of all the col- 
ored churches in that growing city. 

The long-standing debt on the church at Boston has been paid off, and 


they are proposing' to greatly improve the church, which is in a most 
healthy and growing condition. 

A nice little church has been built at Meriden, Conn., where for many 
years we have been struggling to maintain a mission, ofttimes with uncer- 
tain prospects. Just when the prospect seemed most hopeless to the bishop 
and Conference, Presiding Elder Green took up a local preacher and sent 
him there. He built a church and is now serving his third year, where 
two or three preachers failed in one year. 

We are now in a fair way to redeem the second church at Providence, 
R. I , which was lost some years ago by mismanagement. 

The church at New Haven, Conn., has been greatly improved at a cost 
of more than $2,000, and is now the leading colored church in that city, 
not only in numbers, but also in the moral, intellectual, and religious tone 
of its congregation. 

The church at Derby, Conn., has been finished and paid for. 

At Waterbury, Conn., a parsonage has been erected and the church 
greatly improved. 

At Port Chester, N. Y., a splendid church has been erected at a cost of 
more than $5,000, and entirely paid for. Also a very fine parsonage, on 
which there is only a small indebtedness. A few months before the ap- 
pointment of the pastor who led in this great work the people were appar- 
ently hopelessly discouraged ; but they are now among the most happy 
and hopeful congregations in the connection. 

The church at Poughkeepsie has been remodeled at a cost of about 
$3,000, and is now a beautiful structure. Zion has long had her own way 
without let or hindrance in Poughkeepsie, and still holds her own. 

A beautiful little new church has been built at Hempstead, L. I. This 
was the last great effort of Rev. Anthony Jackson, of whom we shall have 
more to say in another place. 

Four years ago the Fleet Street Church, Brooklyn, N. Y., was in a very 
uncertain condition. It was the one thing in the district which caused the 
bishop most concern. Order has been brought out of confusion. The 
church has been greatly improved and is now the leading congregation in 
that city. 

Dr. Thomas, who had charge of the Bridge Street African Methodist 
Episcopal Church four years ago, and had the finest congregation in the 
city, says he was up there on a visit not long since, and seeing only a small 
congregation there he asked where all the people were, and was informed 
that Stitt had them around at Zion. 

The church at Sag Harbor has also been greatly improved, and is in 
better condition than it has been for many years. 

A very nice parsonage has been built at New Rochelle. 

At the New York Conference, which sat in New York city in 1888, the 


trustees of Old Zion Church requested the bishop to go to the General 
Conference and find them a new man. They said they had made a simi- 
lar request when S. T. Jones (afterward bishop) was sent to them, and no 
man since his time had equaled him. The church had run down in con- 
gregation and behind in finance, until they were many thousand dollars in 
debt. Bishop Payne, in his History, says that Bethel Church, in that city, 
is the leading church there. We cannot say that that statement was not 
true when it was written, but it is not true to-day. Old Zion has regained 
her rightful, place as the leading church in that city as a religious power. 
Zion connection has not the strength in that city that she ought to have, 
considering the lead she once had. She ought to have a half dozen 
churches there; but, considering how much was lost by mismanagement, 
the improvement made in the last four years is simply wonderful. The 
church has been improved at a cost of more than $5,000, and is now the 
finest church in the connection. 

In the Virginia Conference a parsonage has been bought at Petersburg 
at a cost of $1,500, and yet that long-standing debt has been reduced about 
one third. 

The new brick church, which was in course of completion at Norfolk 
four years ago, is now not half large enough for the congregation, and a 
fine lot in a better location has been obtained, on which a tabernacle has 
been erected which will hold fifteen hundred people. This has been 
crowded to its utmost capacity. When a brick church has been erected 
upon this spot, and paid for, there will be no church in the city to exceed 
it in progressive Christianity. This is the only enterprise in the district for 
which the bishop feels called upon to make special appeal. Norfolk is 
destined to be a great Southern city. Our people are going there by hun- 
dreds from eastern North Carolina, and we should have accommodation for 
them. For the want of this some years ago many of our best members, 
from other points, joined the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and are 
now among their best members. Some have come home ; but with the help 
of hundreds of our members Bethel has built a very fine and very large 
church there. We cannot expect them to come home while we have not 
room in the church for one half of our members. As many as three hun- 
dred have been turned away at one service for want of room. We ought 
to have the General Conference there in 1896, but will hardly be ready by 
that time. However, if the connection will help them to build a metro- 
politan church on Lincoln Street they may easily be ready four years 

The lot, for which we only had a conditional deed, in Portsmouth, Va., 
has been secured by deed, in fee simple. A fine church has been erected 
upon it, and the prospect is brighter than ever before. 

The church in Berkeley has been remodeled, enlarged, and improved. 


This makes three churches on the Norfolk Bay, where eight years ago we 
had nothing but missions. 

A new church has been erected at Moyock, N. C. ; and the church at 
Good Hope, which stood for ten or fifteen years in an unfinished state, has 
now been completed. 

The church at Elizabeth City has been rebuilt, and is now one of the 
prettiest churches in eastern Carolina. 

The church at Bay Branch has also been remodeled, and takes rank 
among the first churches. 

A fine new church has been built at that notable place, Jamesville, N. C. 

The church at Macedonia has been completed and beautified. 

The church at Hamilton, N. C, has been finished. 

A new church has been built at Williamston, N. C. 

A church has been built in Chowan County, N. C, known as Cannon 
Chapel, which is a very fine church. 

There are also churches in course of erection at several other points in the 
Virginia Conference, the exact stage of which we are not prepared to give. 

The district mourns the loss of several distinguished ministers. Ex- 
superintendent Peter Ross, whose name is found on the Minutes as far 
back as 1834, and who was the first missionary sent to Rhode Island, has 
passed away, falling at the place where his ministerial labors were so 
effectual in his early life. 

Rev. G. H. Washington, a member of the New England Conference for 
more than thirty years, has also passed away. 

Rev. John F. Loyd, a member of the Conference for about the same 
period, has gone to his reward. 

Rev. W. B. Smith was not quite so long in the ministry, yet he was quite 
an old man — about eighty. He also has joined the ranks of the redeemed 
on the other shore. 

Rev. Joseph G. Smith joined the New England Conference in 1858, was 
a long time a member of that Conference, served some time in the New 
York Conference, returned to New England Conference, and was finally 
transferred to the Canada Conference in 1890, but only lived a few months 
after reaching his last appointment. 

Rev. G. M. Given was cut down in his youth. 

In the New York Conference Rev. Silas Mitchel, a father in Israel, and 
one of the best men living for many years, has bid us adieu and gone up 

Rev. J. W. Brown, who died at his post in Brooklyn, was one of the 
ablest preachers in that Conference. He was a member of the last Gen- 
eral Conference, and gave faithful attention to business. 

Rev. Anthony Jackson, who was the last victim of death in that district, 
was also a member of the last General Conference, and, although not a 


delegate to this Conference, he intended to be here, if only to look on. The 
last four years of his life were the most successful. The beautiful church 
which he erected at Hempstead stands as a monument to his memory. 

In the Virginia Conference, Rev. W. H. Pitts, who was with us at the 
last General Conference, has finished his work. He was one of those who 
began ministerial work before the war. He also entered upon the work in 
the South at its early stage. He was a member of the Virginia Conference 
from its organization till his death, except a few years that he labored in 
the North Carolina Conference at New Berne and Beaufort. 

Rev. Samuel Sanderland was among the first preachers of the Virginia 

Rev. J. M. Ferribee completes the list of the victims of death in these 

The character of the men in this district is indicated by the work they 
have done. The efficiency of the presiding elders has already been men- 
tioned. Something praiseworthy might be said of nearly every minister, 
but some have specially distinguished themselves by their work. It may 
be said of the ministers in this district that, to a very large extent, they 
are entirely free from the use of intoxicants as a beverage and from nar- 
cotics as a habit. In the New England Conference there is but little, if any, 
exception to this rule. The general moral tone of all the ministers is so 
high that there is seldom any necessity for a committee on complaints in 
these Conferences. 

In electing delegates to the General Conference the Conferences in this 
district have selected delegates from among the men who have been most 
useful. They were not, however, entitled to a number of delegates sufficient 
to exhaust the list of those who have distinguished themselves for great 
usefulness. They could have doubled the number, and still the list would 
not have been exhausted. Besides the three most efficient presiding elders 
we have in the list of delegates the brother who paid off that long-standing 
debt on the church at Boston ; the brother who is redeeming the second 
church at Providence ; the brother who has improved and put new life 
into the church in New Haven ; the brother who built the new church and 
parsonage at Port Chester and the parsonage at New Rochelle; the 
brother who has beautified the church at Tarrytown ; the brother who is 
carrying all before him in Brooklyn ; the brother who has restored the 
scepter to Old Zion Church in New York; the brother who built that beau- 
tiful church at Elizabeth City, and now holds forth at Petersburg ; the 
brother who finished and beautified the church at Berkeley ; the brother 
whose untiring efforts are making for Zion a name in Norfolk ; the brother 
who built the parsonage at Edenton ; and last, but not least, the great 
church builder, whose latest great effort has been spent on three churches 
in one year on the Jamesville Circuit. 


The Conferences have raised $1,500 more on General Fund during the last 
two years than ever before. In the Virginia Conference the increase in 
one year was thirty-three per cent. The New York Conference is the first 
of all the Northern Conferences to reach its quota of $700 per presiding 
elder's district. The New England Conference has raised an amount 
equal to fifty cents for every member, including probationers and minors, 
and $54 besides ; or, if probationers and minors were discounted, as is the 
rule, it has raised an amount equal to seventy cents per member. 


Since the death of Bishop Jones the Bishop of the First District has had 
charge of the Alleghany Conference, and hence the report of that work 
necessarily comes in at this point. 

The Alleghany Conference is one of the older Conferences. It stands 
fourth on the list, as it was not regularly set off until 1849 ; but as early as 
1829, when the Philadelphia Conference was formed, this section was 
spoken of as the " Western District," and Jacob D. Richardson was pres- 
ent from that district. During the twenty years which elapsed before it 
was regularly organized this part of the State was thus designated. 
Bishops Galbraith and Jones were of this Conference, and many other 
distinguished men have labored in it in bygone years. The improvement 
in this work during the last four years has been very marked. Bishop 
Jones took pains to select a number of intelligent and pious young men to 
fill the vacancies caused by death, superannuation, and transfer. These, 
added to the faithful veterans, gave such impetus to the work that it was 
deemed best to divide the Conference. 

The Alleghany Conference now includes only one presiding elder's 
district. That man who has done more than any other living man to in- 
crease the utility of this Conference is the successful presiding elder. 
You have only to go up the alley and take a look at the little hid-away 
building in which John Wesley congregation worshiped when he came to 
this charge and compare it with the splendid edifice in which this General 
Conference has assembled, to form an idea of his great work here. 

There has been a splendid church erected in the city of Bedford. Also 
one at Hollidaysburg. 

The church that was carried away by the flood at Johnstown has been 

A parsonage has been purchased at Union Town. 

A very fine church has been built at Huntingdon. 

The church at Mt. Pleasant has been completed, and a fine parsonage 
has been built in connection with the church in which we are assembled. 
In addition to this the splendid organ you behold speaks for itself, and re- 
minds us of the untiring energy of the present pastor. 


The Homewoocl congregation are soon to have a new church, and we 
have a good prospect at Holliday's Chapel, in this city. 

The new Conference set off is called the Ohio Conference, and includes 
that portion of Pennsylvania which lies west of the Alleghany River, and 
all that we now have in Ohio. This young baby of the connection prom- 
ises well for the future. That the presiding elder was a happy selection 
was indicated by the enthusiasm which the announcement of his name 
kindled in the Conference, but he has more than filled the best expectation. 
He is organizing churches so fast that the bishop has not been able to 
find men to hold the points he has taken. 

In this part of the work there has also been much improvement in the 
way of church building. 

A fine church has been built at Franklin, Pa., also one at New Castle, 
and there are several others now in course of erection. There is no more 
promising field at present than the Ohio Conference. 

Like the other part of the First District, these two Conferences selected 
delegates from among their most active and useful men. The bishop re- 
grets that the limit of representation deprives us of the service in this Gen- 
eral Conference of several others. There are at least a half dozen more 
men in these Conferences who would have made most useful delegates. 

It may be impossible to devise any plan which will enable us to get 
together all our best workers without having a body so large as to be un- 

There is one inequality, however, which the bishop thinks constitutes an 
evil. That is, in some Conferences there is a large number of supernu- 
meraries as the result of receiving candidates on a lower standard of in- 
tellectual development than that adopted in other Conferences. This, it 
must be seen, will tend to give ignorance a preponderance to which it is 
not entitled ; for a delegate representing supernumeraries, who are such 
because they will not make the necessary improvement to be employed, is 
one representing ignorance, and yet having the same weight in this body 
as one representing our most intelligent and useful ministers. 

To protect themselves against this inequality of representation the more 
intelligent may come to feel it a necessity of the situation to also receive 
candidates of a low grade, and thus the whole body maybe dragged down 
to a lower standard. To avoid this it will be well to guard more carefully 
the door of entrance to all the Conferences. Supernumeraries are a very 
scarce article in the First District, and nearly all of the small number ought 
to be on the superannuated list, if the connection were able to care for 
them. They are generally those who came in at a period when opportu- 
nities were poor, but served well their day, and now are worn out. The 
district is not burdened with youthful supernumeraries as the result of the 
want of care in the admission of candidates. 


Among the victims of death in the Alleghany Conference, besides the 
distinguished bishop who was one of the original members, was Rev. John 
A. Mulligan, who was a member of the last General Conference. Also 
one of our most distinguished laymen, Brother Harris, who was at our last 
General Conference, has gone to his reward. 


This district, when assigned to Bishop Moore four years ago, embraced 
two Annual Conference districts, namely, the Central North Carolina Con- 
ference and the New Jersey Conference ; now it embraces three Annual 
Conferences, the Central North Carolina Conference, the Western North 
Carolina Conference, and the New Jersey Conference, the Western being 
a division of the Central Conference. The two Conferences in Carolina 
embrace within their limits twenty-three counties, beginning in Cum- 
berland County, in the southwestern portion of the State and include 
portions of Cumberland County, Robinson, Moore, Montgomery, Anson, 
Union, Harnett, Chatham, Guilford, Forsythe, Davie, Davidson, Iredell, 
Rowan, Stanley, Cabarrus, Catawba, Burke, Lincoln, Cleveland, Ruther- 
ford, Richmond, Mecklenburg, and McDowell Counties. 

The number of stations in the Carolina Conferences 20 

The number of circuits . . . 45 

The number of missions 9 

The New Jersey Conference, number of stations 17 

Number of circuits 3 

Number of missions 6 

Making the total in the Third Episcopal District of stations, circuits, 
and missions one hundred. 

Financial Receipts and Disbursements. 

Received on General Fund $18,028 80 

For Church Extension 40,881 24 

For pastor's salary 79.425 00 

For presiding elders 17,050 80 

For Conferences and charities 4,870 32 

For home and foreign missions 370 04 

For local missions 692 92 

For Children's Day 2,050 04 

Grand total $163,369 16 

Churches and Parsonages. 

Number of churches in the two Carolina Conferences. . 245 

Number in the New Jersey Conference 16 

Their value, with twelve parsonages $190,828 


Institutions of Learning in the District, and their Value. 

i. The Livingstone College, in Salisbury, N. C, with its fifty acres of 
land adjacent to the town, and with its three large brick buildings, and a 
large fine frame building accommodating from 260 to 300 students. The 
institution is valued at $125,000. 

2. The Moore's Academy at Lincolnton, N. C, having four acres near 
the town, which is valuable. 

3. A district school at Norwood, N. C, with a very valuable piece of 
land of several acres donated by generous gentlemen. 

4. There are several parochial schools established recently in the dis- 
trict. Many new churches have been built during the last four years, and 
others remodeled and enlarged, and others are in course of erection. The 
ministry in these Annual Conferences, second to none, have been greatly 
advanced in mental culture, ministerial experience, and devotion to our be- 
loved Zion. Their conduct has won the confidence and plaudits not only 
of their humble executive, but the thousands of the people whom they have 
most faithfully served. 

Right Rev. J. P. Thompson, Presiding Bishop. 

This district is composed of three Conferences, including six presiding 
elders' districts, the North Carolina Conference, the Genesee Conference, 
and the Michigan and Canada Conference. Amount collected for all 
purposes during the four years, $162,499.44 ; probable value of church 
property, $310,000. The condition of the district is good, both spiritually 
and financially. We are glad to say that great progress is being made in 
the moral condition of the work ; the ministers in this district are free from 
the use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage, and there is increasing oppo- 
sition to narcotics. 

At several points in the district there has been marked material improve- 
ment. At Wilkesbarre a new church has been built and nearly paid for; a 
handsome little church has also been erected and paid for at Auburn ; a new 
church has been built at Saratoga and paid for by a white lady friend. The 
church at Johnstown has been improved and partly paid for; the indebted- 
ness on the old church at Rochester is about paid off, and there is a fine pros- 
pect of a new edifice being erected in the near future. A church has been 
built at Watertown, with all indebtedness paid off, and another at Oneida, 
also free from debt. The debt on the church at Schoharie has been 
paid off. 

In the Michigan and Canada Conference the church at Chatham has 
been improved and the debt nearly liquidated. 

In the North Carolina Conference the long-standing debt at Raleigh, 


which has given the bishop so much trouble, has been paid, and the out- 
look for the church in the future is good. The church at Wilson is being 
improved by the addition of a steeple. A new church is in course of 
erection at Henderson and nearly ready for dedication. At Beaufort the 
church has been improved and beautified. Improvements have also been 
made on the church at Lumberton, and the outlook is good. A church 
has been established at Tomahawk, and a mission at Dunn. At Elizabeth- 
town a very fine church has been erected. A new church has been built 
on the Lisbon Circuit, also one at Roseborough and another at Magnolia. 

The church at New Berne, as well as the entire connection, has suffered 
a great loss in the death of the able and respected elder and delegate to 
the General Conference, W. H. Thurber. " Peace to his ashes ! " 

Rev. John Davis has also fallen out of the ranks since the last General 

The work has not been visited as much as the bishop desired because of 
attacks of rheumatism, but by the assistance of an able corps of presiding 
elders the work has been kept in a good condition. 

Financially the North Carolina Conference leads the entire connection 
in the matter of general fund, having raised an average of $875 for each 
presiding elder's district for last year. 

Report of North Carolina Conference. 

Number of churches 187 

Number of Sunday schools 179 

Total amount collected $162,499 44 

Report of Genesee Conference. 

Number of churches 20 

Number of Sunday schools 19 

Total amount collected $43, 1 1 2 

Report of Michigan and Canada Conference. 

Number of churches 25 

Number of Sunday schools 25 

Total amount collected $8,300 

Report of Book Concern, Bishop J. P. Thompson, President. 

At the close of the last General Conference a resolution prevailed which 
authorized the bishops to overhaul the Book Concern. We had some diffi- 
culty at first in getting at the work, and it was not until the middle of 
the summer or beginning of the fall of 1889 that we could get properly at 
the business. The bishops appointed a committee to examine the books 
and accounts, who made a thorough investigation and reported an in- 
debtedness amounting to over $3,000 : $2,000 of this amount was due the 


agent, Dr. Thomas, for which sum it was agreed to allow him to collect 
all outstanding debts, which he accepted as a final settlement of his 
claim. The value of the stock in the Book Room was hardly worth men- 
tioning. Because of the financial embarrassment of the Concern the agent 
resigned. That the new administration might be better able to continue 
the work (the Concern not being in a condition to pay a salary) Rev. A. 
Walters, D.D., was asked to take charge of it without a salary, which he 
did. The amount due the Methodist Episcopal Book Concern, $732, was 
settled at a very great discount, as were also some other outstanding debts. 
Bishop Thompson advanced considerable money to put the Concern on its 
feet, for which he deserves the thanks of the entire connection. 

Since the 15th of October, 1889, there has been col- 
lected $4,505 03 

Outstanding credits 800 00 

Total $5,305 03 

Expenses $4,505 03 

Outstanding credits 800 00 

Total $5,305 03 

The brethren have not patronized the Concern as we would like, and 
those who have patronized it have not paid up. We regret this very 
much. If the brethren will help us out, give us their patronage and pay up 
their debts, the Concern can be made a great success. It is now 
worth $3,000 clear of all incumbrance. 

We recommend that the General Conference leave the matter of General 
Agent in the hands of the Book Committee and the Board of Bishops. 

We further recommend that the appropriation be left as it is. 


Right Rev. T. H. Lomax, Presiding Bishop. 

The Tennessee Conference has more than doubled itself. The Alabama 
Conference greatly increased in General Fund. The Florida Annual 
Conference is doing grandly. The Kentucky Conference is a little behind 
the other Conferences financially. There is room for improvement ; some 
of our dear brethren do not keep the law in collecting and sending to the 
steward monthly ; they wait till near the sitting of the Conference to 
collect the General Fund. It should begin in time, according to the finan- 
cial plan, thereby giving the members time to pay the General Fund. The 
presiding elders should see that every cent is collected, for it is quite cer- 
tain if we are to run the connection we must raise the General Fund. 
Your bishops are far behind on salary, and some of them must cease to 


travel unless they are better paid, for they cannot support their families 
and represent the general interests of the connection unless they are 
better provided for. Some of our brethren seem inclined to elect a trav- 
eling missionary for the connection. We think that this proposition is 
intended more to erect a new object for financial aid than a connectional 
benefit. We are fully satisfied that the very best thing to do is to collect 
mission money and bring the same to the Conference, to be given to the 
ministers who are actually engaged in building new churches. If we had 
to-day $1,000 in mission funds we could very easily send out ministers who 
would bring back a glorious and most satisfactory report. The good Lord 
has most wonderfully and signally blessed our past efforts. We rejoice 
greatly in the achievements of the past. We know of no connection that 
has made such advancement in numerical and financial strength, as well 
as educational development. All that Zion needs at present is to have 
God on her side, and she may take the world for him. Let all her watch- 
men, old and young, combine in one unbroken phalanx, unfurl Zion's ban- 
ner to the breeze, and the field will be ours, in holy triumph won. 

Logan Temple, Knoxville, has been burdened with a large debt for six 
or seven years, but through the efforts of Rev. J. H. Manley and others 
she is now free. The educational department, in the same Conference, 
under Professor R. E. Toomey, is simply grand. A high school, located at 
Greenville, Tenn., is in operation. The building is forty by sixty feet, 
two stories, in good order. There is about $200 still due on the ground. 
The work will be reported by Professor Toomey and Rev. B. M. Gudger. 

At the close of the last General Conference this district included the 
Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Florida Conferences. Since that 
time the Missouri Annual Conference, has been set off which was organ- 
ized September 17, 1889, and the South Florida Conference, organized 1890. 

Vast improvement in every respect has been made in the district during 
this quadrennium. The Missouri Conference had one presiding elder in 
the person of Rev. Smith Claiborne ; his two years of administration were 
crowned with much success ; yea, the work grew so fast that the bishop 
found it necessary to divide it into two districts, under Revs. A. Bunch 
and D. J. Donohoo. 

Report of Missouri Conference. 

Circuits and stations 40 

Sabbath schools 20 

Officers and teachers 100 

Amount collected for General Fund (for two years) .... $1,474 

Amount collected on pastor's salary 8,296 

Amount collected for presiding elders 1 ,474 

Total $1 1 ,244 


The Kentucky Conference is composed of some of the most intelligent 
and faithful men in the connection. It is divided into two districts, and is 
blessed with two able presiding elders of fidelity and courage. The work 
is in a good condition, both spiritually and financially. 

Report of Kentucky Conference. 

Circuits and stations 40 

Sabbath schools 39 

Scholars 2,798 

Officers and teachers 101 

Amount collected for General Fund (for four years) . . $2,772 24 
Amount collected on pastor's salary 2,104 47 

Total $4,876 71 

Probable value of property $101 ,000 00 

Report of. Tennessee Conference. 
Number of districts 4 

Presiding elders, B. M. Gudger, W. H. Ferguson, T. F. H. Black- 
man, H. Baylis. 

Sunday schools 116 

Scholars 4,73° 

Teachers 528 

Amount collected for General Fund $2,91 5 82 

Amount collected on pastors' salary 4.948 48 

Amount collected for presiding elders 6,448 00 

Total $14,312 30 

Report of Alabama Conference. 

This is the banner Conference of the district, and one of the leading 
Conferences in the far South. It remits more General Fund than any 
other Conference, except the Carolinas. There has been a general in- 
crease in this Conference all along the line. Her ministry is able, digni- 
fied, and reliable. It has five presiding elders : Revs. M. G. Thomas, S. 
Derry, J. W. Alstork, H. P. Shufford, and R. R. Morris, D.D. 

Circuits and stations 183 

Sabbath schools 250 

Scholars 1 7,000 

Officers and teachers 275 

Amount collected on General Fund (four years) $9,220 

The Sunday School Department, stationed at Montgomery, Ala., by the 
Board of Bishops, has proved a grand success. It stands greatly in need 


of financial aid. Rev. R. R. Morris, D.D., General Superintendent, and 
Rev. T. A. Weathington, General Secretary, will make a full report. 

Mrs. M. J. Hale, one of the vice presidents of the Home and Foreign 
Missionary Society, has donated to the colored people of Montgomery the 
Hale Infirmary, an institution costing $7,000. It is under the control of a 
board of trustees. She takes the lead in this direction in the South, and 
is a member of the Old Ship Church. 

Report of the Florida Conference. 

This Conference is composed of thirty ministers. Prominent among 
them are Elders J. H. Darley, S. L. McDonald, O. V. Jackson, J. N. Clin- 
ton, Simon Brown, and I. Ferby. 

Circuits and stations 19 

Sabbath schools 18 

Scholars 1 ,200 

Amount collected on General Fund (four years) $1,264 °° 

Amount collected for pastors' salary 5,495 96 

Amount collected for presiding elders 1,706 80 

% 8,466 76 

Value of church property $30,000 00 

The last Conference held was the most prosperous of any. 

Report of South Florida Conference. 

Among the most prominent elders of this Conference are Revs. W. C. 
Vesta, J. Sexton, S. W. Maize, and W. A. Baine. 

Circuits and stations c 25 

Sabbath schools 20 

Scholars. . 1.500 

Officers and teachers 100 

Amount collected on General Fund (two years) $470 

The general condition of the work is good. 


Bishop C. C. Pettey in charge. 

This district embraces West Alabama, Louisiana, North Louisiana, 
Texas, California, and South Carolina (since the death of Bishop Jones). 

This district has fully kept pace with the advancing tide of the Church. 
Possibly no part of our work has grown more rapidly during this quadren- 
nium than the Sixth District ; it has more than doubled itself in the last 
four years, as statistics will prove. 

In 1888 the California Conference had 105 members and probationers, 


4 traveling preachers and ministers, and 2 local preachers. Money raised 
for all purposes, about $3,000. Now the California Conference has on roll 
16 ministers and traveling preachers, with 655 members and probationers. 
Amount of money raised for all purposes this last Conference year was 
about $9,000. Total amount raised this quadrennium in this Conference, 
about $18,000. 

Texas has done equally as well. In 1888 there were only 26 members 
and probationers, with 6 preachers on roll. Whole amount raised for all 
purposes was less than $100. This Conference year we numbered 460 
members and probationers, 17 preachers on roll, and raised for all purposes 
about $1,000. Total amount raised during the last four years about $2,000. 

The Louisiana Conference in 1888 had about 300 members, 30 preach- 
ers on roll, and raised that year for all purposes about $1,200. Now we 
have two Conferences in the State — the Louisiana and the North Louisiana 
Conferences. In the Louisiana Conference we have nearly 3,000 members, 
56 preachers on roll, and raised last Conference year for all purposes about 
$5,000. The North Louisiana Conference has 463 members, 19 preachers 
on roll, and raised last year about $2,000. Total amount for both Confer- 
ences for the past four years, about $17,500. 

The West Alabama Conference in 1888 had a membership of 10,000, 
with 112 preachers on roll. Amount of money raised for all purposes 
$23,000. Now we have on roll 152 preachers and about 96 local preach- 
ers, with about 20,000 members and probationers. This Conference raised 
last year for all purposes $41,000. Total amount for the four years $120,- 
000. One year ago last December this Conference decided to establish a 
connectional school within the bounds of the Conference district ; hence 
no pains were spared or time lost in establishing in Tuscaloosa, Ala., what 
is known as the "Jones University," named in honor of our late senior 
bishop, Right Rev. S. T. Jones, D.D. We have secured a very fine piece of 
property about one mile from the courthouse. We have one large frame 
building containing a chapel with a seating capacity of two hundred, and 
eight large recitation rooms. We also have a two-story brick outer build- 
ing, which we propose to connect with the main building. In our music 
room we have a fine piano. We have just closed a very successful session 
of six months. Number of instructors, 7 ; number of students, 175. All 
notes on property are paid up to date. With a little encouragement and 
aid the Jones University will, in the near future, be one of the leading uni- 
versities of the South. The South Carolina Conference four years ago 
had about 10,000 members, 86 preachers on roll, and about 50 local preach- 
ers. Money raised for all purposes $25,000. Last year we had about 
25,000 members, about 90 local preachers, and 162 ministers on roll, and 
raised for all purposes about $45,000. Total amount for the quadrennium, 


The value of the church property has increased at almost every point, 
either by the erection of new churches or remodeling the old ones. Many 
fine churches have been built on this district recently, and many valuable 
parsonages erected. Especially is this true of the rural districts in South 
Carolina and Alabama. The country churches, with their bells and organs, 
compare very favorably with our city work. This shows the moral and 
intellectual growth of the ministry and the cultivated taste of the masses. 
In fact, the wonderful increase of the Church, financially and numerically, 
must be attributed very largely to the general advancement of the race, 
both in the pulpit and pew. The morals of all have been raised propor- 
tionately with their educational and religious advantages, and the Church is 
hopeful of her highest aims. We are glad to note that not a single minis- 
ter in this entire district has been called before the Conference bar, charged 
with immoral conduct, during the last four years. We especially note this 
fact because this district embraces a large portion of that section where 
the colored people are massed, and where the colored ministry is wont to 
be disgraced by the common enemies of the race and Church. Wherever 
our churches are in a healthy condition there the people are generally 
attended with peace and prosperity. And this, we think, is largely due to 
the fact that our ministers teach the people to secure land and build 
homes ; consequently, many of our members in the South are owners of 
large tracts of land and many more are rapidly becoming their own land- 
lords. And hence we feel that the African Methodist Episcopal Zion 
Church in America is to play an important part in solving the great prob- 
lem of the South. 

The spiritual condition of the Church is good. Our large increase has 
come almost entirely from conversions. We have lost no churches by law- 
suits, nor ministers by withdrawals that we desired to keep with us. We 
have set apart two new Conferences for your approval or disapproval — 
the " Palmetto " from the South Carolina Conference, because it was too 
large, and the North Louisiana from the Louisiana Conference, for the 
sake of convenience. We also offer the Jones University as a connectional 


This district, to which Bishop C. R. Harris was assigned, was composed 
of the Georgia, the North Georgia, the West Tennessee and Mississippi, 
and the Arkansas Annual Conference Districts. The Georgia Conference 
embraced the eastern part of the State of Georgia, extending from Ogle- 
thorpe County to Burke County, with a membership of about 700. The 
North Georgia Conference reached from Athens, in Clarke County, to 
Columbus, in the extreme western part of the State. It embraced the 
central part of that State, and had a membership of about 500. The 
West Tennessee and Mississippi Conference stretched from Memphis, 


Term., southward to Canton, Miss., and thence eastward to Meridian and 
Cooksville, Miss., and included a small portion of western Alabama. It 
had a membership of about 2,000 under one presiding elder. The Arkan- 
sas Conference reached from Conway County eastward to Forest City, and 
southward to the Louisiana line adjoining Ashley County, and included 
several churches in Louisiana. In this latter county, through the assidu- 
ous labors of Rev. A. J. Coleman, lay most of the membership of the 
Conference, which amounted to about 500, the total membership of the 
district being considerably less than 4,000. 

At the first session of the Tennessee Annual Conference that was held 
after the last General Conference the presiding bishop, by request, cut 
off that part of the Conference lying within the State of Georgia, and as- 
signed it, with the preachers belonging to it, to the North Georgia Con- 
ference, thus adding from 200 to 300 to the membership of the Seventh 

Though widely scattered, the district has comparatively few charges, and 
the presiding bishop was enabled during the first year to visit more than 
half the churches composing the district, in some instances preaching in 
parts never before visited by a bishop of any denomination. 

Our work in all these Conferences is scattering and very irregular in 
shape, and entails much travel in reaching churches of small membership. 
Hence there were few paying circuits, and much difficulty was found in 
supplying the several charges with competent and reliable preachers. 
Able, upright, self-denying, and intelligent ministers are, indeed, greatly 
needed. The bishop has to some extent succeeded in supplying this want, 
but not as fully as he desired. The crying need in our Church of an ade- 
quate Mission and Church Extension Fund has been sorely felt in this 
district. For lack of it the extension of our work into towns and cities 
has been almost blockaded. Still, we have made some progress in that 
direction. Atlanta and Waynesboro, in Georgia, Durant, and Green- 
wood, in Mississippi, and Harlow, Warren, Brinkley, and Pine Bluff, in 
Arkansas, are the most notable instances of churches organized during 
the last quadrennium in towns where no Zion Church previously existed. 
Churches better than the average have been erected in Memphis, Tenn. ; 
Grady, Ark.; and Summerville, Columbus, and Atlanta, Ga. Besides 
these churches have been built or greatly improved at Pleasant Hill, 
Bethlehem, Spring Hill, Monroe, Prospect, Stony Point, and La Fayette, 
in Georgia, and Bayne's Cornerstone, Harlow, and Little Rock, in Arkansas. 

In Arkansas, and especially in Mississippi, in the region commonly 
designated as " The Bottoms," our Church has most rapidly extended. 
Many mission churches, comprising several hundred members, have been 
organized in the latter district alone. 

Owing to the enlargement of the work, and the fact that the West Ten- 


nessee and Mississippi Conference was very extensive, that Conference 
was divided at its last session. The northern portion — from Memphis, 
Tenn., to Greeiywood, Miss. — retained the original name, the southern 
part, from Yazoo City to Cookesville, Miss., and Sherman, Ala. — being 
named the South Mississippi Conference, each having two presiding eld- 
ers' districts. The newly set off district already reports several mission 
points organized since Christmas. 

Through the rascality of imported preachers we lost ground in Athens 
and in Columbus, Ga., but have to some extent regained it. This may 
account for the zeal of the bishop in reiterating in various forms the truth 
that constant insistence upon the intellectual and moral improvement of 
the ministry is an imperative demand upon us. This done, Zion will have 
no need, even apparently, of welcoming to her fold deserters from other de- 
nominations. Should this remark seem gratuitous we but quote the adage, 
" A burnt child dreads the fire." 

On the whole the prospect in the entire district is hopeful, and gives 
promise of greater vigor and growth in the immediate future, for which 
God be praised ! 


Many who have been in attendance upon the sessions of the General 
Conference in recent years will remember the tall, courtly figure of a 
presiding elder from Mississippi, the Rev. L. J. Scurlock. A prominent 
worker on committees, thoughtful and dignified, he gained immediate 
attention whenever he obtained the floor in debate. For many years he 
occupied a leading position among the people of his own State, and in the 
Conference he exercised a commanding, yet gentle, influence. He has 
passed from the ranks of the Church militant to his place in the Church 

Not long after his decease another veteran, known to many of you, lay 
down in the sultry heat of the Mississippi bottoms, folded his arms as 
though awaiting the roll call, and breathed his last on earth. It was Elder 
Wallace Jones, a pioneer in Georgia, and, later on, in Mississippi. 

Occupying a similar position in the North Georgia Conference was the 
Rev. Cambridge Smith, often called the father of the Georgia Conference. 
He, too, has been called to enjoy the reward of a long life devoted to the 
service of God. 

The West Tennessee and Mississippi Conference, during its last ses- 
sion, suffered the loss of still another elder, who, though a member of the 
Conference for a few years only, was rapidly gaining in the esteem and 
confidence of the brethren. In the death of Dr. W. D. Van Ryan the 
Conference lost a vigilant and active leader, and his loss is deeply 


Among others who have fallen victims to death from the ministerial 
ranks in the district during the last quadrennium are Revs. S. Strickland, 
M. Hawkins, Peter Trammell, and R. E. Scott. Peace to their ashes ! 

The Philadelphia and Baltimore Conference. 

On the demise of the lamented Bishop S. T. Jones, who had charge of 
the Second Episcopal District, the Philadelphia and Baltimore Annual 
Conference was placed in charge of the bishop of the Seventh District. 
It embraces the District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware, and the east- 
ern part of Pennsylvania. During the past few years considerable progress 
has been made in this district. The leading churches have increased 
greatly in membership. A church has been organized in Wrightsville, 
Pa., the birthplace of the late Bishop S. T. Jones, and a handsome little 
stone church erected through the enterprise of Dr. Jamison and his coad- 
jutors, valued at $5,000. At Arlington, Va., a beautiful and commodious 
church has been built, and also one in Rockville, Md. We have also at 
Lincoln University finished a brick church, 28 by 45, and one at Avondale 
is nearly completed, of the same size. We have also organized churches 
at Potsdam and Marshallton. The church at West Harrisburg has 
been much improved, and cleared of its debt. Shippensbury Church 
has been remodeled, and is now in fine condition. The following new 
societies have been added to the Conference district : Trinity Church, 
Washington, D. C. ; Forks, Md. ; Lock Haven, Pa. ; Parkersville, Pa. ; 
and Alexandria, Va. At Brownsville and Huntsdale, Pa., lots have been 
secured for the erection of churches. At Newtown the church has pur- 
chased a fine lot in a much more desirable location. In Baltimore, Md., 
the church building has been presented to the connection by Mr. F. W. 
Bennett, and means are now being raised to purchase the lot upon which 
it stands, after remodeling the church. 





We have found it necessary to insert a miscellaneous 
chapter since beginning the work, having come across a 
few relics which we think will be interesting to the 
reader. We have noted the fact that "African Meth- 
odist Episcopal Zion " was made the legal title in 1868. 
Since that we have discovered in the possession of Sister 
Hasbrook (an aged member of the church at Kingston), 
a number of the Minutes of Conferences from 1845 down, 
among them a copy of the Minutes of the General Con- 
ference of 1848, from which we learn that the title " Afri- 
can Methodist Episcopal Zion " was adopted at that 
time, as the following minute will show: 

" Rev. J. J. Moore was appointed to read the minutes 
of the Committee on Revision, and the house took up the 
subject by sections. The subject of Church Title was con- 
sidered as follows : ' The African Methodist Episcopal 
Zion Church in America.' Rev. G. A. Spywood moved 
to strike out the word African, and proceeded to show 
reasons why it should be stricken out. Rev. S. T. Gray 
followed in an argument on the opposite side. The dis- 
cussion was continued up to the hour of adjournment. 
Monday morning, June 5, 1848, Conference met accord- 
ing to adjournment, Bishop Christopher Rush in the 
chair, associated by Bishop George Galbreth. After the 
approval of the minutes, discussion on the connectional 




title was resumed, at the close of which it was finally de- 
cided to adopt the title as reported by the committee, 
' The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Amer- 
ica.' " 

General Conference was occupied from June 3d to the 
13th almost wholly in the consideration of the re- 
port of the Committee on the Revision of Discipline, 
which, after much debate and many amendments, was 
finally adopted. At this session the boundary of the 
New York Conference was determined upon, and other 
Conferences set off as follows : ' < The Allegheny Confer- 
ence to be bounded east to Bedford and Hollidaysburg, 
and including all that part of the State lying west of the 
Allegheny Mountains, extending to Lake Erie, thence 
south, running to the Ohio line, thence east to the 
Allegheny Mountains on the Maryland line, including 
Pittsburg and Allegheny cities; the Genesee Conference 
to include that portion of the State of New York lying 
west of Albany and extending to Lake Ontario and Lake 
Erie. The Allegheny Conference shall meet on the 
third Saturday in August, 1849, and the Genesee the 
second Saturday in September, 1849." 

Three book agents were appointed by this Conference, 
as follows: Rev. Edward Johnson, Rev. John J. Moore, 
and Rev. James Simmons. At this General Conference 
Bishop Rush gave the information that he had purchased 
a tract of land for the establishment of a connectional 
industrial school in the county of Essex, State of New 

The following preamble and Constitution were read and 
adopted by the General Conference : 



Whereas, We, the ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion 
Church in America, feeling as we do that many of the difficulties against 
which we have to labor grow out of the fact that there is a great lack of 
education among us. Man, viewed as a being susceptible of happiness 
and capable of responsible action, sustaining a thousand relations, involv- 
ing as many duties ; whatever, therefore, tends to increase this susceptibil- 
ity and enlarge this capacity must exalt his nature and promote the 
benevolent purpose for which he was created. Such is the tendency of a 
well-directed education, of virtuous example, of sound philosophy and the- 
ology—indeed, of everything which gives the understanding a controlling 
influence over the grosser passions, of everything which purifies and regu- 
lates the feelings, without diminishing their ardor or depriving them of their 
appropriate objects. And among the many causes which conspire to pro- 
duce this effect, none is so efficient as a well-directed education. Therefore 
those persons whose names are here connected do agree to form an institution 
having for its object the establishment of prominent schools of education 
preparatoiy to the ministry, and, with other useful information calculated 
to elevate our whole people, do agree to be governed by the following 
Constitution and other By-laws which may be found necessary for carrying 
out the object set forth in this preamble : 



This institution shall be known by the name of the "Rush Academy," 
Essex County, State of New York. 


Every subscriber for one dollar and fifty cents, or more, per annum, 
shall be a member of this institution, and shall be entitled to the privilege 
of membership. 


The funds raised by annual subscription, or otherwise, shall be appro- 
priated, under the direction of the Committee of Managers, to defraying the 
necessary expenses, as well as the general expenses of the institution. 


Every subscriber, at the time of subscribing, shall direct to what partic- 
ular department the amount of his or their subscription shall be appro- 
priated — all donations shall be deemed the permanent property of the 
institution. The institution may, however, at its annual meeting, or other 


legal meetings, authorize a sale of any of its permanent property for the 
purpose of reinvestment for others more desirable or advantageous. 


The officers of this institution shall consist of a President, four Vice 
Presidents, Corresponding and Recording Secretaries, a Treasurer, a Com- 
mittee of Twenty, five of which shall be located in and about the city 
of New York with the Corresponding and Recording Secretaries. Each 
set of committees not provided for in this Constitution shall have power to 
appoint their own secretaries and agents. 


It shall be the duty of the President to preside at the annual meetings 
of the institution, to watch over its interests generally, to recommend such 
measures as he may deem calculated to promote the object of the institu- 
tion, and to call meetings of the same when he may think the good of the 
institution requires it, or when requested so to do by the Committee 
of Managers. The Vice Presidents shall sit as chairmen in their different 
sections of the committee, possessing all the power of the President in their 
respective bodies. 


It shall be the duty of the Corresponding Secretary to institute and carry 
on the correspondence between the General Committee of Management, 
the secretaries and agents of the different departments, and to lay before 
the General Committee all letters and communications he shall receive ; 
to pay over to the Recording Secretary monthly, or oftener if required, all 
moneys that shall come into his hands, and to perform such other duties 
appertaining to his office as may be prescribed by said Committee of Man- 


It shall be the duty of the Recording Secretary to keep the records of the 
institution and of the General Committee of Management, to receive all 
the moneys of the institution, and to pay over the same monthly, or oftener 
if required, to the Treasurer, taking his receipt therefor. He shall have in 
charge the seal of the institution, and shall affix the same to such docu- 
ments and papers and in such manner as shall be ordered by the Com- 
mittee of Management. And he shall attend to and perform such other 
duties appertaining to his office as the President may direct. 


It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to receive all the moneys of the 
institution from the Recording Secretary and disburse the same as shall be 
directed by the General Committee, or by such subcommittees as they 


shall appoint or substitute, keeping regular books of entry and accounts 
of all such receipts and disbursements, and to report to the Committee 
of Management the state of the treasury as often as requested so to do. 
He shall, one week previous to the annual meeting of the institution in 
each year, render to the Committee of Management a full and complete 
report of all moneys received and disbursed by him and of the state of the 


The General Committee of Managers shall have the general supervision 
and management of the interests and affairs of the institution ; they shall 
open and conduct all negotiations for the purchase of any property for the 
institution, taking - care, however, to respect each branch of the Committee, 
as the actual funds of the institution may warrant. They shall provide 
for the preservation and increase of the property of the institution. They 
shall have power to appoint committees or agents, as the interests of the 
institution shall seem to them to require ; to prescribe their respective 
duties and fix their compensation; and they may adopt and execute gener- 
ally such measures as shall to them appear to be proper in emergencies 
and necessary to carry out the objects of this institution. 


The Committee of Management shall, at every annual meeting of the 
institution, render a full report of their proceedings during the year, stating 
the principles governing them in their selections or purchases, entering 
into such details as they shall think proper and of interest to their as- 


All annual subscriptions to the institution shall be for the current year, 
expiring on the first day of the following year. No subscriber shall be 
entitled to the privileges of membership until his subscription has been 


It shall be the duty of the Committee of Managers to frame a code of 
By-laws for their own as well as for the further government of the institu- 
tion, providing such By-laws are not repugnant to this Constitution. 
Which By-laws for the latter shall be submitted to the members at a 
meeting of the institution for their approval. 


This Constitution may be altered or amended at the annual meeting of 
the institution, or at a meeting called for said purpose, by a two-third 
vote of the members present. 


The foregoing Constitution was adopted by the Gen- 
eral Conference, June 16, 1848. On June 17 the fol- 
lowing resolutions were passed : 

By motion of the house the Rev. George Galbreth was appointed presi- 
dent of the Rush Academy, and the Rev. Christopher Rush treasurer of 
the said institution, and also the Rev. Peter Ross was appointed by the 
Conference vice president of the Rush Academy for the New York Con- 

The General Conference authorized Superintendent 

Rush to appoint the secretaries and the other three vice 

presidents of the above institution. It was, on motion, 

Resolved, 1. By the General Conference, that the Constitution of the 
School Fund be so altered or amended as to allow each vice president 
appointed by the Conference from time to time to organize a committee in 
his district sufficient to meet the demands of the Constitution. 

2. That the central committee draw a plan of said building and an esti- 
mate of the cost of the same, and submit it to their acting committees as 
soon as possible. 

3. That the central committee of the School Fund are requested to ap- 
point their agents and make their appeal to the public as soon as practi- 

On motion of the house the following Constitution was 
received and adopted by the General Conference : 



This Society shall be called the Preachers' Mutual Benefit Society of the 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in America, and is established 
for the benefit of destitute superannuated preachers, their widows and 


Any preacher of this Connection may become a member of this Society 
by paying one dollar initiation and the further sum of one dollar annually. 


No minister shall be entitled to share in the benefits of this Society who 
is not a contributor, and who has not done at least five years' effective 
service in the itinerancy of the Connection. 


The funds of this Society shall be paid over to the General Agent of the 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Book Concern, and shall be considered 
a loan to said concern so long as they may be needed. 


It shall be the duty of the Agent to keep a separate book for such funds, 
which shall contain the names of each contributor and the Conference 
within whose bounds he or she may reside. 


Dividends shall be made annually of the interest at six per cent to each 
yearly Conference in proportion to the amount which has been paid from 
within the bounds of each Conference, which dividends shall commence 
when one thousand dollars have been paid in, and which the Conferences 
may have added to the capital, when there are no such cases as specified 
in the first and third Articles. 


The General Agent shall give his receipt for all moneys paid him for the 
above purpose, which receipts shall be entered in a book kept by the sev- 
eral yearly Conferences for that purpose. 


When the permanent funds of this Society are no longer needed in the 
Book Concern they shall be loaned at six per cent on security of real estate 
to at least twice the amount of the loan, and the interest shall be paid an- 
nually to the General Agent, who shall pay the same to the several Annual 
Conferences as specified in Article 6. 


The business of this Society shall be conducted by a Committee ap- 
pointed by the General Conference, to consist of an equal number of min- 
isters from each Annual Conference. 


When contributors shall remove from one Conference to another, or 
when alterations shall be made in the boundaries of Conferences, the book 
of the Agent shall be so regulated as to give each Conference its proper 
claim, he being duly notified. 


Each yearly Conference shall appropriate its portion of dividends among 
its proper claimants according to the judgment of necessities. 



This Constitution may be altered or amended by a majority of the mem- 
bers at any General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion 
Church in America, so as not to affect its general principles. 

The General Conference adjourned after eighteen days' session, to meet 
on the fourth Saturday in June in Wesley Church, city of Philadelphia, 
Pa., 1852. Christopher Rush, Ge7ieral Superintendent. 

George Galbreth, Assistant Superintendent. 

Sampson Talbot, Secretary. 

The reader may be puzzled to know why the General 
Conference adopted the title African Methodist Episcopal 
Zion in 1868, when that title had been adopted by the 
General Conference in 1848. The explanation may be 
found in the fact previously mentioned, that the connection 
split in 1852, and was sundered for eight years. During 
that period the eastern portion was called Zion and the 
western portion Wesley. After the reunion, which took 
place in i860, the titles got slightly mixed; it therefore 
became necessary in 1868 to declare again the correct title. 

In speaking of the disruption, we have mentioned the 
fact that there were some circumstances connected with 
it which were not entirely clear. In the package of Min- 
utes which we found with Sister Hasbrook are the Minutes 
of 1857, in which we find the following circular, published 
by Bishop William H. Bishop, giving his version of the 
matter. Most that we have previously given came from 
the other side. We should have inserted this with the other 
matter if we had discovered it in time. We insert it here : 


In the Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Con- 
nection for the Philadelphia District, 1857, the defense of our cause being 
the special order of the day, the following prevailed, to wit : 


Whereas, The circular emanating from the pen of the general superin- 
tendent, William H. Bishop, presents a clear and lucid exposition of the 
grounds of the difficulties which resulted in the excommunication of a 
number of the ministers formerly belonging to this connection — now fol- 
lowing the lead of James Simmons and Solomon T. Scott (the so-called 
superintendents), under the falsely assumed title of this connection ; there- 

Resolved, That this Conference fully indorse the views therein contained 
and set forth, and that there be, and it is hereby ordered, that five hundred 
copies of said circular be printed for circulation through this District. 

To the Ministers, Members, and Friends of theAfrica?i Methodist Epis- 
copal Zion Church in America, greeting : 

Beloved Brethren — We doubt not you have seen and read a circu- 
lar letter sent to certain individuals, emanating from George A. Spywood 
and John Tappin, calling themselves general and assistant superintendents 
of the above-named connection. Dear brethren, you should not be hasty 
in your conclusions in reference to so great and important a matter, but 
hear both sides of the question and judge impartially, and not suffer your 
minds to be prejudiced, but examine carefully and prayerfully, with an eye 
single to the glory of God and the advancement of the Redeemer's kingdom. 

Beloved brethren in Christ, suffer me here to say to you that there is 
some truth set forth in that circular, accompanied with a great deal of 
what is not strictly true. Notice first, in regard to the Constitution in ref- 
erence, to making new rules or revising those already made. See Disci- 
pline, page 68, article 1st, 2d, and 3d, and page 69, etc. Dear friends, 
every section and every article we hold sacred. Sirs, I have been a minis- 
ter in this connection for some time ; I joined it, the Zion's Church in New 
York, in September, 1825. In May, 1826, I joined the Annual Conference 
as a traveling preacher. Father Abraham Thompson, one of the founders of 
Zion's Church, and Rev. James Varick, the first superintendent, were then 
living. He, Varick, served the first term as superintendent ; he was elected 
for the second term, but before the expiration of that term God was pleased to 
call him from labor to reward. We then numbered about ten Conference 
ministers, and of that number there are but three living, who are of no 
longer standing than myself, and here you have their names : Rev. Levin 
Smith, Christopher Rush, and George Tredwell. 

After the death of the first superintendent we elected Rev. Levin Smith, 
who was then our choice, but he declined ; we then elected Rev. Christo- 
pher Rush to that office. The superintendent is elected to serve four 
years and no longer, unless reelected. Rev. Christopher Rush was elected 
in 1828. From that time he was reelected every four years until 1852, 
making twenty-four years, during which time he became destitute or 


deprived of his natural sight, so that he could not perform the duties of a 
superintendent any longer. As a matter of course, the members of the 
General Conference, feeling it their privilege as well as their duty, which 
right belongs to them, to elect to the superintendency a man of their own 
choice, they did elect Rev. William H. Bishop general superintendent in 
1852, and did unanimously elect him general superintendent in 1856, and 
did also unanimously elect Rev. Joseph J. Clinton assistant superintendent. 

Dear friends, I am not a stranger in the connection. Many of you know 
me from the time I joined the connection. I was called and owned as a 
worthy brother, and held in high repute up to 1852. But when I was 
elected superintendent, then those office seekers showed themselves to be 
my enemies. In their circular they inform you that we wish to deprive 
you of your privileges ; those statements are not true, but to the reverse, 
for instead of depriving the Quarterly Conferences of their privileges, the 
intention of the General Conference of 1852 was, and still is, to give them 
more. It is true, we know that we cannot alter or change our rules with- 
out the consent of two thirds of the Quarterly Conferences of the entire 
connection, as you may see in the circular in reference to the convention. 

Again they say, I lost or gave my office by putting an unconstitutional 
motion. Ah, how low the acts of those men are, striving to take advan- 
tage and making wrong impressions upon the uninformed and weak 
minds ! God will, ere long, set matters right. They say that the rule was 
suspended to get the third superintendent, and the rule remained so. Ah, 
how erroneous the idea is ! How often is the like done in deliberative 
bodies; yes, even in Congress, in Parliament, and among religious bodies. 
But it is so strange. The suspension of rule is part of their own doings in 
General Conference of 1852, when we were all together, but they (having 
lost their power, as they thought), when arriving in New York, called their 
council and there devised these low, cunning plans to effect their unright- 
eous designs, and to captivate weak minds, telling those innocent ones that 
we wanted to take their property away from them, thus flattering and de- 
ceiving them ; while at the same time were they taken helpless to-morrow 
they would have to be sent or compelled to go to the poorhouse, the aged 
home, after spending their hard earnings to pay for that property. . . . 

It is true that our book of Discipline knows but two superintendents, 
the general and assistant. The book of Discipline never knew any 
assistant until 1848. But C. Rush tolerated it, and it was said to be right. 
Much more here might be said which was unconstitutionally sanctioned 
by the Rev. C. Rush. Had he and his party been set at the head of 
affairs in 1852, all would have been right with them to-day — for the acts 
in that General Conference are but as ciphers compared with the Gen- 
eral Conference of 1840. See that book signed by himself unlawfully, 
and in 1843, sitting in Conference with the same, asking questions out 


of that unlawfully revised book, and then assumed the power that was 
not guaranteed to him in that he told the members of the New York and 
Philadelphia Conferences to use either or both books of Discipline until 
the General Conference. This was wrong ; but no one tried to remove 
Rev. C. Rush from office for putting that unconstitutional motion in the 
General Conference of 1840. I here forbear. Again to the book of Dis- 
cipline. The present book knows but two superintendents, the general 
and assistant. We were all in General Conference assembled in Philadel- 
phia, in 1852, and were in the act of revising the Discipline. The senti- 
ments of that body, even those who now strive to take the advantage, were 
that, in their judgment, the connection stood in need of three superintend- 
ents. But we could not get the third one unless we suspended the rule 
and elected one prospectively, but not to act as such, until there should be 
sanction given to the revised matter by a two third vote of the Quarterly 
Conferences of the entire connection. Here the question may arise, why 
was Spywood's name on the circular with Rev. William H. Bishop and 
Rev. George Galbreth ? The answer is, that it was the expressed opinion 
of that body that at the next annual session the consent of the required 
majority of the Quarterly Conferences would be obtained, as they had al- 
ready the consent of a great number of them. 

The circular pointing out the defect, with the alterations which were 
wanting to be made, was sent out in good faith. But ah ! to our surprise, 
the disaffected office-seeking brethren, instead of acting in good faith, ran 
to the old church and raised a hue and cry, saying that William H. Bishop 
and the General Conference were about to destroy their church, their old 
Mother Church, by changing the name of the connection, which caused a 
great excitement. They said if the name was changed they would lose 
their property, their beloved Zion in New York. 

This game went on till 1853, when that party called a convention, as 
they say, while I was in Allegheny City, Pa., holding an Annual Confer- 
ence, at which time, they say in their own publication, they resolved 
themselves into a General Conference — which is truly a new thing under 
the sun; and that done in Zion, called the Mother Church — with closed 
doors, and there elected, as they say in their own publication, three 
superintendents, namely, George A. Spywood, Robert C. Henderson, 
and John Tappin. 

They elected three superintendents in open violation of the Constitution 
of the Church, and now that broken, disaffected party, in a circular letter, 
charges the General Conference proper with violating the rules of the 
Church. It is well known that the presidential election of these United 
States takes place every four years ; there are two or more candidates 
for that office ; one of these candidates, with his vice, is elected in accord- 
ance with the requirements of the Constitution of the United States. Let 


us suppose a case : suppose that the friends of the minority candidates, 
being dissatisfied, should meet in one of these United States, in one of the 
cities or towns, and enter into some hall, and there with closed doors 
should hold an election with their candidate, then come out and publish 
to the world that he, whomsoever he might be, was President of these 
United States, would that be true ? The answer is at hand, No. You 
would look upon that party as rebels. This is a parallel case. The party 
now cleaving" to the old house, corner of Church and Leonard Streets, 
New York, is the party that pursued this rebellious course, and they are 
making a noise before the public, claiming to be the connection proper, 
which is not true. 

Zion was never a connectional name until 1848. At that General Con- 
ference our present book was revised, and the present name of the connec- 
tion given for the first time. The book was published in 185 1. Look at the 
7th page, Committee's Address, page 8, the names of the said committee; 
see the old book of 1820, which is or was the name, the doctrine or disci- 
pline, of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in America. This was 
the proper name of the connection until 1848, when the committee, as 
named on the 8th page of the present book, named the connection, which 
was sanctioned by the General Conference. Read for yourselves, and do 
not be deceived. 

Spywood and Tappin, who were said to be their superintendents, did 
not continue their four years, but instead of four years their party was 
glad to get rid of them in three years ; no doubt of that, for notwithstand- 
ing things as they are, there are honorable exceptions, for there are 
brethren and sons among them who are near and dear to me. 

James Simmons and Solomon T. Scott, of the disaffected party, were 
elected by that party, the former general, the latter assistant superin- 
tendent, in June, 1856. He (Scott), who was an office seeker in 1852, but 
he being disappointed in that, he was not elected superintendent, but he 
received an appointment from me until the last Conference, 1855, when he 
(Scott) located and joined the Quarterly Conference of Wesley Church, 
Lombard Street, Philadelphia, held his standing as a local elder, went to 
work holding private council with the disaffected party in New York, and 
he (Scott) for less than a mess of pottage sold himself and joined them, 
after calling them after the names of many of his fish, as set forth in his 
sermon, and he called them anything but Christians and gentlemen 
wherever he went. After all this, thinking there was not a chance for him 
in the connection proper, he was determined to look out for a chance once 
more. Away he goes and salutes the disaffected party, and by his acts 
says, Hail, brethren ! and kisses them. They made him their assistant 
superintendent. He, of course, will be a stool pigeon, to try to draw away 
from our beloved connection members by a refuge of lies. 


Ministers, official boards, members, and friends of our beloved connec- 
tion, stand together, be upon the watch, stand firm ; the good Lord has 
enabled us to guide the ship safely through that trying term, I may say 
single-handed, and as the brethren have given me an assistant, under God 
we feel to be strong. 

William H. Bishop, General Superintendent. 

Joseph J. Clinton, Assistant Superintendent. 

In the Minutes of 1853 we find specimens of the 

poetical genius of Bishop J. J. Clinton and Rev. Henry 

A. Thompson : 

a voice from the south.* 

While anxious mortals strive in vain 
The sunimum bonum to obtain, 

Each takes a different way. 
Their aims are leveled in the dark, 
Their arrows drop before the mark, 

Or far beyond it stray. 

The miser heaps up golden ore, 
Surveys the glittering mammon o'er, 
And thinks he's gained the prize; 
His bliss, alas ! is soon destroyed, 
His treasures vanish unenjoyed, 
. And he, repining, dies. 

Others pursue the path of fame, 
, Striving to gain a lasting name, 

Toil up the steep ascent ; 
Whilst the least blast that scandal breathes 
Mildews their never-fading wreaths, 

And mars the true content. 

God, who is love, decreed it so, 
Lest we should fix on things below, 

And never look to Him 
Who only has the power to bless, 
From whom derives all happiness, 

The fountain and the stream. 

* Lines written and dedicated to Rev. William H. Bishop, the General Superintendent of the 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in America, by Rev. J. J. Clinton. 




Be bold, be firm, be strong, be true, 

And dare to stand alone ; 
Strive for the right whate'er ye do, 

Though helpers there be none. 

Nay, bend not to the swelling surge 

Of popular sneer and wrong ; 
'Twill bear thee on to ruin's verge 

With current wild and strong. 

Stand for the right though falsehood rail 

And proud lips coldly sneer ; 
A poisoned arrow cannot wound 

A conscience pure and clear. 

Stand for the right, and with clean hands 

Exalt the truth on high ; 
Thou'lt find warm, sympathizing hearts 

Among the passers-by. 

Men who have seen, and thought, and felt, 

Yet could not singly dare 
The battle's brunt, but by thy side 

Will every danger share. 

Stand for the right, proclaim it loud ; 

Thou'lt find an answering tone 
In honest hearts, and thou'lt no more 

Be doomed to stand alone. 


Mrs. Katie Walters, wife of Bishop Alexander Walters, 
and daughter of Louis and Kittie Knox, was born in 
Louisville, Ky., August 18, 1856. She had the advan- 
tages of the public schools in Louisville, has been a 
member of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church 

* Dedicated to Rev. William H. Bishop, General Superintendent of the African Methodist 
Episcopal Zion Church in America, by Rev. Henry A. Thompson. 


since 1877, and was married to Bishop Walters, August 
28, 1877, at Indianapolis, Ind. Mrs. Walters isan exem- 
plary and very successful minister's wife ; she under- 
stands the art of adapting herself to her surroundings ; 
is intelligent, modest, cultured, thoughtful, and in every 
way fitted for the position which she occupies. She has 


served faithfully with her husband in the following 
charges: Corydon, Cloverport, and Louisville, Ky. ; San 
Francisco, Cal. ; Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tenn. ; 
and New York city. She has been vice president of 
the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society 
of the California and New Jersey Conferences, and 
was successful last year in raising the largest amount 


reported in the New Jersey Conference for many years. 
She is a model housekeeper, a hospitable entertainer, an 
earnest church worker, an affectionate wife and mother, 
has a kind word and smile for all, and is greatly loved by 
those who know her. 


We have desired greatly to present a sketch of the life 
of Sister Mary Roberts, the founder of the society 
known as the Daughters of Conference. The great 
work accomplished by these societies is a monument to 
her wisdom. No other organization did so much for the 
building up of Zion Church in its early history. The 
Daughters of Conference furnished the means to send 
missionaries to the South, by which the borders of Zion 
were extended to that land. 

Sister Mary Roberts was elected president of the first 
society of Daughters of Conference in the mother Zion 
Church, New York city, and continued in that office until 
her decease. The reason for the establishment of the 
Daughters of Conference was that the sisters of the 
Church might largely assist in meeting the needs of the 
ministers who had no stated salary. 


Sarah E. C. D. Pettey was born in the city of New 
Berne, N. C, November 9, 1868. At the age of six she 
was reading and writing, having been taught at home by 
her mother. She then entered the graded school. After 
leaving this institution she entered and completed the 
course in the State Normal School under the instruction 


of Hon. George H. White. At the age of twelve Miss 
Dudley entered the Scotia Seminary at Concord, N. C. 
After graduating there with first honors she began teach- 
ing in her native city as second assistant in the graded 


school, which position she held for two years. She was 
then promoted to assistant principal, serving five years, 
and for two years acted as assistant professor in the County 
Teachers' Normal Institute, continuing thus occupied until 
she married. Sunday schools and missionary societies 
have always had in her a stanch friend and advocate. 







My connection with the African Methodist Episcopal 
Zion Church began in 1838. This was soon after my 
escape from slavery and my arrival in New Bedford. 
Before leaving Maryland I was a member of the Meth- 
odist Church in Dallas Street, Baltimore, and should have 
joined a branch of that Church in New Bedford, Mass., 
had I not discovered the spirit of prejudice and the un- 
holy connection of that Church with slavery. Hence I 
joined a little branch of Zion, of which Rev. William 
Serrington was the minister. I found him a man of deep 
piety, and of high intelligence. His character attracted 
me, and I received from him much excellent advice and 
brotherly sympathy. When he was removed to another 
station Bishop Rush sent us a very different man, in the 
person of Rev. Peter Ross, a man of high character, but 
of very little education. After him came Rev. Thomas 
James. I was deeply interested not only in these min- 
isters, but also in Revs. Jehill Beman, Dempsy Kennedy, 
John P. Thompson, and Leven Smith, all of whom 
visited and preached in the little schoolhouse on Second 
Street, New Bedford, while I resided there. My ac- 
' quaintance with Bishop Rush was also formed while I 
was in New Bedford. 

It is impossible for me to tell how far my connection 
with these devoted men influenced my career. As early 
as 1839 I obtained a license from the Quarterly Confer- 
ence as a local preacher, and often occupied the pulpit by 
request of the preacher in charge. No doubt that the 
exercise of my gifts in this vocation, and my association 


with the excellent men to whom I have referred, helped 
to prepare me for the wider sphere of usefulness which I 
have since occupied. It was from this Zion church that 
I went forth to the work of delivering my brethren from 
bondage, and this new vocation, which separated me 
from New Bedford and finally so enlarged my views of 
duty, separated me also from the calling of a local 
preacher. My connection with the little church con- 
tinued long after I was in the antislavery field. I look 
back to the days I spent in little Zion, New Bedford, in 
the several capacities of sexton, steward, class leader, 
clerk, and local preacher, as among the happiest days of 
my life. Frederick Douglass. 

General Book Agent. 

Jehu Holliday was born in the State of Ohio, December 
25, 1827. He was converted in November, i860, and 
joined the Church under the administration of Rev. Joseph 
Armstrong, the great pioneer Zion preacher in Ohio. He 
joined the Allegheny Conference in 1861, and was or- 
dained deacon in the morning, and elder at night, at the 
Conference in 1862, by Bishop J. J. Clinton. Rev. Nevin 
Woodside, pastor of the First Reformed Presbyterian 
Church, Pittsburg, Pa., refers to Brother Holliday as fol- 

" Rev. Jehu Holliday, of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, 
now presiding elder of this district, has been known to me personally and 
intimately for the past nine or ten years. I have been a close observer of 
his life and labors during that time, having resided near him and in the 
midst of the people among whom he labored. He is thoroughly conversant 
with the book of books, the Bible. His knowledge of that book is not 
speculative or theoretical, but practical, influencing his own life, and con- 


sequently the lives of those around him. His labors for the advancement 
of his brethren have been untiring and most successful. I have occupied 
his pulpit on several occasions, and he has stood side by side with me in 
mine. His labors in the Eleventh Ward of Pittsburg have been highly 
beneficial to all classes of society. The financial, social, moral, and 
spiritual advancement of his people has been very evident to me and to the 
entire community here. This advancement can be traced to his energy, 
perseverance, sound judgment, and fidelity, under the blessing of Almighty 
God. He is a man of commanding presence, firm as the unbending oak, 
and gentle as a child. He stands high in the estimation of the commu- 
nity for his self-denial, honesty, and zeal. By his fervid and eloquent dis- 
courses he has commanded the attention and respect of professional and 
business men wherever he has been heard. On the first Sabbath of 
August, 1888, accompanied by Rev. Dr. Ferguson, of Ireland, a learned 
Presbyterian divine, I visited a camp meeting at Wilkinsburg, Pa., Rev. 
Jehu Holliday presided at that meeting. There were between two and three 
thousand people present, Africans, Germans, Scotch, Irish, and Americans. 
Dr. Ferguson preached an able and touching sermon on the parable of the 
Prodigal Son. Through respect to our views on the worship of God, Mr. 
Holliday stopped the organ. He knew that we were opposed to the use 
of instrumental music in the worship of God, and with that nice balancing 
of judgment and just appreciation of our conscientious scruples he dis- 
pensed with the instrument and used the superior one made by the hand 
of the great Creator, his own powerful and melodious voice. He led the 
vast congregation in singing one of their own familiar hymns, ' Over 
there.' He then followed with an address that would have done honor 
to Wesley or Spurgeon. In that audience were magistrates, ministers of 
the Gospel, professors in our colleges and public schools, wealthy mer- 
chants, and active newspaper men. They were all solemnized and many 
of them moved to tears by his fervid and pure eloquence. There was no 
disorder or levity there. It was God's house, and all present felt it to be 
such. We can never forget the appearance of the orator. He is tall and 
strongly built. He left the platform and stood on the grass. His own 
heart had been moved by the sermon to which he had listened and he was 
prepared to move others. His body seemed to dilate, his countenance 
beamed with intelligence and pleasure, his eye sparkled and seemed to 
stand out as he spoke of the blessed prospect of meeting his white brethren 
in heaven. His powerful voice echoed among the forest trees and fell in 
musical cadences upon the ears of the audience. No man but one pos- 
sessed of superior powers of mind and heart could have delivered such an 
address. His loyalty to Christ, his love for the Bible and its glorious 
Author, his Christian patriotism, his love for Christ's people of all de- 
nominations, and his burning desire for the elevation and salvation of his 


race were ingredients in that memorable discourse. It was no empty or 
spread-eagle oration, but a solid subduing and sanctifying address, that 
could only be delivered by a man whose heart had been touched with the 
spirit of the living God. Truth and love dropped from his lips and beamed 
from his countenance. Such a man will fill any office in the gift of his 
Church, and will honor any evangelical denomination of Christians." 


Rev. Mark M. Bell was born in Anne Arundel County, 
Md. He was converted in the Methodist Episcopal 
church of the same county, of which he afterward be- 
came a member in August, 1 86 1. On moving to Washing- 
ton, D. C, in the spring of 1863, he united with Galbreth 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, under the 
pastorate of Rev. R. H. G. Dyson. He was licensed to 
preach under Rev. James A. Jones, June, 1866, and ad- 
mitted into the Baltimore (now Philadelphia and Balti- 
more) Conference, April 17, 1867, Bishop William H. 
Bishop, presiding. He was ordained deacon by Bishop 
Singleton T. Jones, at Wesley Zion (Metropolitan) 
Church, Washington, D. C, April 25, 1869, and elder by 
Bishop J. W. Loguen in Union Wesley Church, District 
of Columbia, May 16, 1871. He attended school at 
Howard University several terms, beginning in the spring 
of 1867. He has served the following charges, namely: 
Brightwood Circuit, embracing Brightwood, Rock Creek, 
D. C, and Zion Church, Baltimore, Md., May, 1869-71 
(with Baltimore detached and made a station after 
the first year, and Rockville, Md., added). The member- 
ship was increased, a lot was purchased, and a building 
erected at Rock Creek worth $630, and paid for except 
$191. Through the influence of a minister who left the 
connection this church was carried over to the Methodist 


Protestant denomination some years later. His next 
appointment was Arlington, Va., May, 1872. A revival 
breaking out in this church about the middle of the fol- 
lowing August resulted in many conversions. After 
serving a year at this church he met the first session of 
the consolidated Philadelphia and Baltimore Conference 
at Philadelphia, Pa., and was transferred to the Alle- 
gheny Conference and stationed at Avery Mission 
Church, Allegheny City, Pa. In May, 1873-74, in this, 
as in former charges, revivals attended his ministry, 
and fifty-four were added to the church, also a society 
was organized at Jack's Run, Pa. (now called Bellevue 
Church). He was transferred back to the Philadelphia 
and Baltimore Conference and stationed at Wesley 
Church, Philadelphia, Pa., May, 1875, where he remained 
three years. Both the spiritual and financial condition 
of this church continued good, with an addition of one 
hundred and fifty-eight persons to the membership. 
While in this charge the following mission work was 
organized : St. Mark's, corner of Twenty-first and Oxford 
Streets, Philadelphia, with 1 5 members and Sunday school, 
October 18, 1876 ; Mount Olive, Agate Street, near Frank- 
ford Road, with 35 members and Sunday school, Feb- 
ruary, 1877. The Church at Wilmington, Del., was re- 
ceived with 35 members, a minister and Sunday school. 
In the summer of 1877 he purchased ground and built a 
church at Frankford, Pa., at a cost of $1,800, and paid 
several hundred dollars of the indebtedness. In May, 
1878, he was appointed to the Philadelphia Mission. 
Over forty persons were added to the membership at 
St. Mark's, Mount Olive, and Frankford, and the debt on 


Frankford Church was reduced to about $650. In May, 
1880, he was appointed to the charge of the Church at 
York, Pa., which charge he resigned on account of de- 
clining health, and sought a more southern climate; but 
God overruled his plans, and he spent the year preach- 
ing and lecturing wherever he found an open door, held 
services in his own house at Burrville, D. C, and 
organized the Burrville Mission and Sunday school, 
January, 1881. His next appointment was Union Wes- 
ley, Washington, D. C, where he served one year, and 
was then appointed to the Church at Carlisle, Pa., May, 
1882. A revival resulted in many conversions and 47 
accessions to the church. A stone church and ground 
80x90 were purchased at a cost of $1,200 (worth $6,000), 
repairs, $300 ; all of which was paid during the three 
years of his administration. In May, 1885, he was ap- 
pointed Presiding Elder over the Philadelphia District. 
In May, 1886, he was appointed Missionary Agent. In 
May, 1887, he was transferred to the Tennessee Confer- 
ence and appointed Presiding Elder of the Georgia Dis- 
trict of that Conference, which he was compelled to resign 
before the year expired, owing to sickness and death in 
his family. He then again returned to the Philadelphia 
and Baltimore Conference and was appointed to the 
Rockville, Md., Circuit. In May, 1889, he was appointed 
to the Arlington Circuit. The Spirit of God was poured 
out in the conversion of a goodly number of persons, 
mostly children. The new church begun by the Rev. J. 
F. Waters was completed at a cost of about $1,000, which 
was reduced to $400 or less. In October, 1891, he was 
appointed to the Washington City Mission. A Sabbath 


school was gathered numbering more than fifty scholars 
and a few members, which was finally merged into the 
Central Mission of the city. In September, 1892, he 
was transferred to the Allegheny Conference and ap- 
pointed to Uniontown, Pa. God is greatly blessing his 
efforts in this charge ; many have been converted, and 
others have entered into the Canaan of perfect love. The 
interior of the church building has been tastefully re- 
paired at a cost of $800, and this debt reduced to $366. 
He was elected a delegate to the General Conference of 
1872,. but was absent on account of sickness. He was 
also elected as delegate to represent the Philadelphia and 
Baltimore Conference in the General Conferences of 
1876, 1880, 1884, 1888. He served as bishop's steward 
of the same Conference from 1876 to 1880. He originated 
and presented to the General Conference of 1880 the 
plan for the formation of the Woman's Home and For- 
eign Missionary Society, and General Mission Board of 
the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, which was 
adopted by that Conference. He served as secretary of 
the General Mission Board from 1880 to 1888. 

Brother Bell is a minister of marked piety, a splen- 
did pastor, and is among the most useful men in his 
Church. He teaches by precept and example, and always 
makes a good impression upon his congregation. 


Mr. Henry Page Derrit was born in Madison County, 
Va. , on the second day of June, 1859. His early boyhood 
was spent on the farm of his former owner. His father 
desired him to learn a trade, and at the age of thirteen 


years sent him to Charlotte ville, where he entered the 
blacksmith shop of Rev. Leewood as an apprentice, and 
remained in that capacity for three years. On account 
of injuries received while engaged in shoeing a mule he 
was compelled to give up the business. Being deter- 
mined to have a trade from which he would be able to 
realize a support, he went to Harrisburg, Va., and 
learned the barber's trade. In 1879 he went to Johns- 
town, Pa., where he worked a few years as a journey- 
man, after which he entered business for himself, and 
succeeded in building up a first-class trade. 

In the great flood of 1889 Mr. Derrit was the greatest 
loser among the colored citizens of Johnstown ; all of his 
possessions in shop and dwelling house were destroyed. 
Being a man of great business push and energy, he re- 
solved to remain in the city and continue his business. 
His former patrons returned to him, and to-day he con- 
ducts a first-class business in one of the most fashionable 
streets in the city. He was converted and joined the 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church during the 
pastorate of Rev. S. T. Whiten, and has held the posi- 
tion of trustee, superintendent of Sabbath school, and 
preacher's steward. He has represented his church at 
several sessions of the Annual Conference, and was also 
a delegate to the last General Conference. 


Presiding Elder of the Washington District of the North 
Carolina Conference. 

John Hooper, son of John H. and Margaret Hooper, 
was born in ,Northwest Township, Brunswick County, 


N. C, June 10, 1837. His early life was spent upon a 
farm. He loved books, and secured them as fast as he 
could, and embraced what little opportunity there was 
for free colored people to learn at that time, which 
was private instruction by night. He was thus enabled 
to read and write well enough to teach a second grade 
school when emancipation opened the opportunity. 
He was licensed to preach in 1866, and while a local 
preacher he built two churches. He was received into 
the Annual Conference in 1867, and ordained deacon by 
Bishop J. J. Clinton, at Fayetteville, N. C. For about 
thirteen years he labored not far from his old home, in 
Brunswick, Bladen, and Columbus Counties, during which 
time he built eight churches. He was ordained elder in 
1873. His next appointment was Rockingham, where 
he labored successfully for two years. In 1882 he was 
sent to Wilmington, where Rev. G. B. Farmer, one of 
the strongest men of his day, had started the first brick 
church erected by the colored people in Wilmington 
since the war. Ever since Rev. G. W. Price attempted, 
in 1 87 1, to take this church over to the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church there had been in it an element of disloyalty. 
Elder Farmer, in order to get along quietly, and that he 
might not be hindered in his effort to build the finest 
colored church in Wilmington, had allowed this disloyal 
element a little more rope than was good for the church. 
The bishop was anxious to send a man there who would 
bring the church into harmony with the best interests of 
the connection. Hooper in this, as also in completing 
that splendid church according to the original plan, was 
abundantly successful. 


At the end of three years he was appointed to the 
Washington Station, which he served one year, and was 
made presiding elder; this was in 1883. He has contin- 
ued in the office of presiding elder from that time. The 
new bishop, before reaching the Conference in 1892, 
heard such a clamor from those who wanted Hooper's 
place that he expected to have to make a change ; but 
the call for Hooper was so loud that he thought it best to 
nominate him, and he was reelected by a unanimous vote. 

Elder Hooper's strength is his high moral and Chris- 
tian character, his good judgment, his unassuming dig- 
nity, his love of souls, and his loyalty to the Church, 
his Master's bride. He is loved for his goodness and 
his good works. He was a delegate to the General Con- 
ference in 1884, 1888, and 1892. 


G. B. Farmer was among the strongest of the early 
preachers of the North Carolina Conference. He was 
licensed in 1865, joined the Conference the same year, 
and was ordained a deacon. In 1866 he was ordained 
elder and was given a district, with several preachers in 
his charge, in Harnett County, where he labored for 
several years. He had charge successively of what 
were in those days the three most important stations, 
namely, Fayetteville, Wilmington, and New Berne. 
The last named has been the death of more distinguished 
ministers than any other station, if not more than all the 
others together. Noble L. Johns, transferred from the 
New York Conference, died there in less than one year. 
Thomas Henderson followed him a few years later. 


G. B. Farmer was trie next victim, and more recently 
W. H. Furber. Besides these Zion ministers, Rev. G. A. 
Rue, of Bethel Church, and Rev. Scott, of the Presby- 
terian Church, also died there. Elder Farmer did not 
die there, but he took his death sickness while stationed 
there and was brought home to Fayetteville to die. 

He was a useful member of the General Conference at 
Montgomery, Ala., in 1880. 


J. H. Mattocks joined the church at New Berne, N. C, 
in 1868. He was licensed to preach in 1872, and in 
November the same year was sent to the Annual Confer- 
ence at Wilmington, N. C, as a delegate, and was also 
recommended by his Quarterly Conference as a candi- 
date for membership. He was admitted and ordained a 
deacon. His first appointment was the Onslow Mission. 
He succeeded in organizing three churches, as follows: 
Young's Chapel, on New River, Burnett's Chapel, and 
Topsail Sound Mission. His salary for the first year was 
$16.25 collected from the people and $2.50 from the 
Mission Fund. In 1874 he was sent to the Redding 
Springs Circuit, composed of three congregations wor- 
shiping under bush arbors, with sixty members in all. 
He bought lots and built at each place, and also organ- 
ized the Jonesville, Hudson Grove, and Pineville Churches. 
At the close of three years' labor he left the circuit with 
thirteen hundred members. He was ordained elder in 
1877, and was appointed to the Mooresville Circuit, but 
was soon after sent to the Henderson Circuit, which Rev. 

R. D. Russel had to give up on account of sickness in his 



family. This was a strong Baptist section. The ministers 
who had preceded Brother Mattocks had thought it not 
best to attack the Baptist doctrine, and, though they had 
succeeded fairly well,- yet when they had large revivals 
the Baptists would get more than half their converts. 
Brother Mattocks boldly defended the Methodist doctrine, 


and the result was that he held nearly all of his converts 
and baptized them by sprinkling, which was a very un- 
usual thing in that section. The effect of his teaching 
remains till this day. In 1878 and 1879 he espoused the 
temperance cause with great success, and was elected 
chaplain of the Good Templars. 

In 1879 ne was appointed to Clinton Chapel, New 
Berne. In 1871 he was appointed to Washington, where 


his usual success attended him, and the church was 
greatly improved during his administration. In 1882 he 
was sent to Goldsboro. The church there at that time 
was in a languishing condition. Rev. Mattocks remained 
three years, during which time there were 185 persons 
converted and 217 added to the church. In 1885 Rev. 
Mattocks was made presiding elder, and labored in that 
capacity for three years. In 1888 he was relieved of the 
presiding eldership at his own request and was appointed 
pastor of the church at Wilson. In 1 891, he was trans- 
ferred to the Central North Carolina Conference and 
appointed to Fayetteville, N. C, where he served accept- 
ably for one year, and was next appointed to Monroe. 
In 1892 he was appointed Presiding Elder of the Concord 
District. He is a successful presiding elder. He has 
common sense in a large degree, is earnest and honest. 
He has filled all positions in his Conference — secretary, 
statistical secretary, recording secretary, compiler and 
publisher of the Minutes, and Conference steward. He 
has been frequently elected as fraternal delegate to other 
Conferences, and has been a delegate to every General 
Conference since and including 1880. He read a strong 
paper on the subject of the presiding elder system at the 
General Conference in 1880. He is conservative, and can 
always be depended upon to support sensible measures 
and oppose foolish ones. 


Andrew J. Warner was born in Washington, Ky., 
March 4, 1850. He was a slave, and at the age of 
thirteen years he ran away from his owners, and crossing 


the Ohio River one night he found himself in Ripley, O. , 
a stranger, and, knowing not where to go, he went to 
headquarters, where colored soldiers were being enlisted, 
and enlisted as a drummer boy. After serving in the 
Union army until the close of the war, and being hon- 
orably discharged with the rank of sergeant, he returned 
to his old Kentucky home. 

Feeling the need of an education, and there being no 
good colored schools at the time in Kentucky, he went 
to Ohio and attended the high school in Cincinnati. 
From there he went to Wilberforce College, in Xenia, 
O., to drink deeper from the intellectual fountain. He 
also read law in the office of Hon. W. H. Wordsworth, 
of Marysville, Ky., and is somewhat of a barrister. 'He 
was converted May, 1872, and joined the Church. He 
was licensed to preach in 1874, and joined the Kentucky 
Conference under the late Bishop S. T. Jones, D.D. He 
has filled ably and acceptably many of the leading appoint- 
ments of the Western and Southern Conferences. He 
was pastor of Big Zion, in St. Louis, Mo., four years, 
adding over seven hundred people to its membership. 
He captured St. John, in South St. Louis, and brought it 
to Zion ; also Zion churches were founded by him in 
Centralia, 111., and in Duquesne, 111. Like a whirlwind 
he swept through Illinois, establishing Zion churches. 
He crossed the line and entered Arkansas and' planted 
the standard of Zion upon the shattered ramparts of the 
enemy, in Little Rock, building St. Paul, and adding to 
it in one year over three hundred people. From there 
he was sent to Russellville, Ky., and again to St. Louis. 
Later, Bishop Hood transferred him to Knoxville, Tenn., 


to save the Zion church, after nearly the entire member- 
ship had left and established an independent church. 
For four or five years prior Zion in that city had been 
standing on a smoking volcano ; he was sent there 
after the eruption, and, possessed with personal magnet- 
ism, guarded shrewdness, and plenty of common sense, 
coupled with unshaken faith in Jehovah, he turned the 
tide, brought peace out of confusion, and succeeded 
grandly in bringing the straying lambs back into Zion's 
fold. How well he accomplished the work may be seen 
by looking at Logan Temple, which he built — the finest 
colored church in Tennessee. The same great pastoral 
success has attended his labors in the West Alabama 
Conference, where he is stationed at this writing. 
So quickly by his attractive singing and electrifying 
preaching can he crowd any church, and keep it crowded 
while he is pastor, that he has been styled the ' ' Cyclone 
Preacher " of Zion. He is an able divine, a ready talker, 
and a fine debater. His fame is almost national. He 
was the leading attorney in the celebrated Bishop Hillery 
case tried in Hendersonville, Ky., and his defense for 
the unfortunate bishop was ringing, touching, and able. 
He was elected and served as commissioner on organic 
union in 1884 and in 1892. He has been a member of 
ever;y General Conference since and including 1 884. He is 
quite a shrewd politician. His great popularity as a public 
speaker brought to him unsought the nomination for Con- 
gress in the first Alabama district. Without any effort 
on his part he carried four wards in the great city of 
Mobile. He has been twice chosen presidential elector, 
and has several times been appointed to prominent politi- 


cal offices, but has declined them, preferring to remain in 
the pulpit and work for God and Zion. 

Rev. J. W. Smith. 


The subject of this sketch was born in Green County, 
Ky., January 6, 1839. He was reared by his mother till 
his twelfth year, at which time he was left as an orphan 
to battle for life as best he could, his mother dead and 
his father worse than dead (a slave). 

After working two years on a farm he bound himself 
to a man to learn the blacksmith's trade, at which trade 
he worked until he was twenty-eight years old ; he then 
joined the Kentucky Conference of the African Metho- 
dist Episcopal Zion Church, at the organization of said 

Before his admission into Conference he had only been 
licensed to exhort. This was unusual, but Bishops Tal- 
bot and Clinton were very practical men, and they did 
unusual things in those days, and God blessed the work 
of their hands because they labored for his glory regard- 
less of small technicalities. 

We presume that Bishop Talbot held that the act of 
taking him into Conference made him a preacher ; there- 
fore he ordained him a deacon at once and sent him to a 
pastoral charge, or rather a mission. He was sent to 
Bardstown, and there during the one year that he had 
charge bought the ground and erected a church edifice. 
One year later he was ordained elder by Bishop W. H. 
Bishop, and sent to Russellville, Ky. There he had 
to stand a lawsuit, and his life was threatened if he failed 


to leave the place. But he stood his ground, bought a 
lot, and built a fine brick church. From there he was 
sent to a mission in Louisville ; remained there three 
years and bought a part of the lot upon which the Jacob 
Street Tabernacle now stands, erecting there a small 
frame church. He was next sent to Fifteenth Street 
Church, where he found a membership of three hundred ; 
remained there three years, and left it with six hun- 
dred and three members. He was then sent back to 
Russellville, and found a debt on the church of $1,000, 
which he reduced to $400 in one year. He was sent back 
to Russellville for another year, but soon after Conference 
Bishop Jones needed a strong man to go to Knoxville, 
Tenn., to save Loguen's Chapel, which John J. Mitchel 
was trying to take over to the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. He only remained there four months, but that 
was long enough for him to accomplish the work he was 
sent to do. He then lost his health, and went home, as 
he supposed, to die. But his work was far from being 
done ; hence his life was spared and his health restored. 
About that time, however, a certain brother had to be 
removed, and he begged Brother Curry to take his place 
and let him go to Knoxville, which Curry finally agreed 
to do as a matter of accommodation. 

While completing this year's work he established a 
church at Carrollton, on the Ohio River, fifty miles from 
Louisville, and another at Eminence, forty miles from 
Louisville. He was sent to Henderson, Ky., where he 
finished a splendid brick church. He was returned to 
Louisville, and built the Jacob Street Tabernacle, 
which is regarded as one of the finest edifices in the con- 


nection. No other man has ever had the influence in 
that church that Curry had. He bought the lot, he built 
the first church, he built the second church. He has 
been returned to them we don't know how often, and still 
stands first in the estimation of that people. He seldom 
left a debt on a church contracted by himself ; he was 
once moved to make room for some one else, who permit- 
ted the debt to increase, and he had to be sent back to pay 
it. He repaired the church in St. Louis. Rev. Curry 
has not only been a successful pastor and church builder, 
but he has been one of the most successful and dignified 
presiding elders in the connection. He by his Christian 
bearing and dignity of character lifted the presiding elder- 
ship up from the disrespect into which it had fallen (in 
the hands of one who had great talents but never used 
them to the permanent good of the connection). Rev. 
Curry has been several times elected as delegate to the 
General Conference, in which he has always been a use- 
ful member. He was very prominently before the Gen- 
eral Conference in 1876 as a candidate for the bishopric, 
but was beaten by a combination formed for the election 
of W. H. Hillery, who ought never to have been elected. 
Hillery did us harm ; Curry would have done us good. 
The faculty and trustees of Livingstone College conferred 
on him the honorary degree of D.D. 

Through all that troubled period in the Kentucky 
Conference, caused by the defection and withdrawal 
of Wo H. Miles and others, Curry was the tower of 

When we first went to take charge of that Conference, 
in 1883, we were told that the two men in it who stood 


head and shoulders taller than others, in whom every- 
body had confidence, were Curry and Johnson. Our 
three years' labor there convinced us that the picture 
had not been overdrawn. There were coming young 
men in the Conference who have made their mark 
since that time. But the luster of the Christian char- 
acter of these two pioneers in the Kentucky Conference 
still shines in all the splendor of mature age. Against 
them the tongue of slander has been awed into silence 
and dare not move. 


B. M. Gudger was born in western North Carolina, 
March 4, 1855; was licensed to exhort by Elder T. A. 
Hopkin at the age of sixteen, and at twenty-one was 
licensed to preach. 

His first Conference appointment was at Murphy, N. C. 
While there he succeeded in buying a church lot at Blas- 
ville, Ga., and erected a church thereon. After remain- 
ing on that work three years he was assigned to Webster 
Mission, N. C. ; he organized some churches on that 
work. The following year he served a mission in the 
State of Tennessee known as the Retrow Mission. 

During that year there were seventy-six members 
added to the church ._ The following year he was assigned 
to Morristown, and during that year rebuilt the church 
with an addition of sixty-two members. 

The ensuing year he was ordained a deacon and ap- 
pointed to Jonesboro, Tenn., where he remained for three 
years, and on his second appointment there was ordained 
elder. After serving there as elder one year he was 



appointed to Franklin, N. C, as a supply on the western 
part of the Asheville District for Presiding Elder Mont- 
gomery that year. Bishop Hood appointed him presid- 
ing elder from the Conference at Maryville, Tenn., on 
the Bristol District, and he remained there four years. By 
the assistance of Rev. I. D. Banks he built a new church 

at Bristol, and brought 
the congregation out 
of a public school- 
house into a new 
building of their own. 
At Lebanon, Va., he 
bought a church lot ; 
at Esterville, Va., or- 
ganized a new church ; 
built a church on 
Chuckey River; also 
an encampment at 
Sturd's Hill, in Wash- 
ington County, Tenn., 
while he was in the 
pastoral work. 

He secured a site 
for a school in Green- 
ville, Tenn., and on that lot had a two-story building 
erected for Zion. From there he was assigned to the 
Knoxville District, where he remained four years. Dur- 
ing that time he was enabled to build one new church at 
Knoxville, one at Smithwood, one at Leader Bluff, one 
at Rutledge, one at Mooresburg, Tenn., one at Jonesville, 
Va., and organized several others. 



At the end of four years he was assigned to the 
Chattanooga Station. This church was thirteen hun- 
dred dollars in debt. The building was leaking so badly 
that it could hardly be used. He succeeded in paying 
off a part of the debt, and gathered the members together 
that were scattered during a split in the church. 


The subject of this sketch was born at Columbia, S. C, 
August 26, 1852. He was born a slave and held as such 
until the close of the late rebellion. In 1868 he removed 
to Asheville, N. C, and worked on the farm during the 
spring and summer, attending the common school through 
the fall and winter. He professed a hope in Christ in 
1 869 at Waynesville, N. C, and joined the African Meth- 
odist Episcopal Zion Church. In August, 1869, he was 
made a class leader, in which capacity he served one year. 

In the spring of 1870 he 'felt that he was divinely 
called to the work of the ministry. Rev. T. A. Hopkins, 
who at that time had the oversight of the work in west- 
ern North Carolina, licensed him as a local preacher. He 
joined the Tennessee Conference under Bishop S. D. 
Talbot, D.D., October 4, 1870, at Cleveland, Tenn. He 
was in his nineteenth year. His earnest zeal for the 
work and his youth fulness claimed for him at once the sym- 
pathy and favorable consideration of the bishop and Con- 
ference. Asheville and Turkey Creek Circuit was his first 
appointment. God blessed his labors during the year 
1 87 1, and many souls were brought to Christ and added 
to the church. When the Annual Conference convened 
at Jonesboro, Tenn., October 2, 1 871, he was appointed 


by Bishop Talbot to Hendersonville, N. C. It was then 
a circuit embracing - four points. While in charge of this 
work he was induced by Dr. Williams, of the white Pres- 
byterian church, to begin a course of theology. Having 
spent the greater part of three years in the common 
schools, his thirst for a higher education induced Bishop 
S. T. Jones, D.D., Rev. J. A. Tyler, D.D., and others 
to have young Ferguson appointed to Maryville, Tenn. 
This is an educational center where several colleges have 
been in operation for many years. The Conference met 
at the above named place in 1872, Bishop Jones pre- 
siding. He was here ordained deacon, and two years 
after was ordained an elder at Greenville, Tenn., by 
Bishop Jones. He completed his normal course at the 
Freedmen's Normal Institute in 1874. After filling a 
number of small charges he was appointed to Asheville 
Station, in 1876. During his pastorate here, which 
lasted two years, he won the reputation of being one 
among our strongest men. He was the founder of Jones's 
High School, at Asheville, N. C, 1877. For lack of 
financial support this school was abandoned after two 
years' existence. 

In 1879 he was appointed by Bishop Jones to Chatta- 
nooga. It may be truthfully said that the connection 
to-day is indebted to the earnest endeavor of Rev. W. H. 
Ferguson for what we have in that city. While in charge 
of the last named place there were more than three hun- 
dred members added to the church, and over $1,500 im- 
provement made on the property. In 1884 he was ap- 
pointed to the pastorate of Logan's Temple, Knoxville, 
Tenn., where he held his own one year. Knoxville 


charge for years has been noted for the instability of the 
membership. Rev. W. H. Ferguson was made presid- 
ing elder by Bishop Hood in 1885 at Abingdon, Va., 
and appointed to the Asheville District, in western 
North Carolina. After serving on the district for six 
months at the request of Bishop Jones he was transferred 
from the Tennessee Conference to the New York Confer- 
ence. On the nth of March, 1885, he was placed in 
charge of Williamsburg, or what is better known as the 
Eastern District of Brooklyn, N. Y. Being affable and 
winning in his bearing, he soon gained the confidence of 
both white and colored in the City of Churches. This 
church was under a mortgage of $2,000 at the time he 
took charge of it. The membership was very small and 
unable to meet the debt when due. It was by the per- 
sistent efforts of the pastor that a second loan was secured 
of $3,000, which saved the membership from being shut 
out of a church that had cost them $10,000. 

Financially and spiritually the church seemed to prosper 
during his pastorate. In the spring of 1887 there was a 
strong appeal made to Bishop Hood to have him appointed 
to the First African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church of 
Brooklyn. Fleet Street African Methodist Episcopal 
Zion Church is possibly the second best charge belonging 
to the New York Conference. 

He is a successful pastor, and for years has been one 
of the leading lights in our great connection. We have 
few men of his age in the active ministry who have done 
more to build up the waste places of Zion according to 
their means than he. 

In 1888 he returned from New York to Tennessee, and 


was made presiding elder by Bishop Lomax, D.D., in 
which capacity he served four years on the Chattanooga 
District. In 1894 he erected Price Temple at Cleve- 
land, Tenn. It is the handsomest church edifice in the 
Tennessee Conference. 


C. W. Winfield was born in Dinwiddie County, Va., 
December 20, 1850. He was taken to Petersburg in 
i860, and to Charlotte, N. C, in 1864. When the war 
closed he went back to Petersburg. He was converted in 
1868, and joined the church at Jones Chapel, in Prince 
George County, near Petersburg, under the administra- 
tion of Henry Freeland. He was licensed to exhort in 
1873, by Rev. Watkins Jones, by whom he was also 
licensed to preach in 1874. In 1875 he was admitted into 
the Virginia Annual Conference, at its session in Eliza- 
beth City, N. C.,as a preacher on trial, and was appointed 
to the Chesterfield Circuit, which included Jones Chapel, 
the church into which he was first received as a member. 
He there built his first church, and succeeded so well that 
he remained three years. These three years were the 
most prosperous that the church has ever known. Dur- 
ing the three years that he held this charge he attended 
the Episcopal Theological School in Petersburg. He 
also entered a private school and took there a course in 
Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. In 1876 he was ordained 
deacon by Bishop Hood, and in 1878 he was ordained 
elder by the same. From this Conference (1878) he was 
sent to Brunswick County, Va., to the Mount Zion Cir- 
cuit, where he greatly improved the work. The General 


Fund was largely increased and other interests advanced. 
In 1879 he was sent to Elizabeth City, N. C, where he 
improved the church edifice by building a beautiful spire 
and putting in a bell. 

In 1 88 1 he was sent to Petersburg, which is regarded 
as the most important charge in the Conference. Here 
he finished a fine brick church, which had been com- 
menced by Rev. J. McH. Farley, and paid a large portion 
of the indebtedness. This is one of the finest churches 
in the Conference. The spire, we think, is decidedly the 
prettiest in the connection. 

Considering the fact that Petersburg was his home, and 
that the church there had been served by some of our 
ablest men, his success there was remarkable. No man 
is more respected than he. At the end of his four years 
in Petersburg he was sent to Plymouth. Here he only 
remained one year, because the bishop felt that he was 
specially needed elsewhere. In his one year, however, 
he made a lasting impression for himself and made it 
easy for his successor to accomplish a great work. He 
was next sent to Edenton, where he greatly improved 
the church by putting in new seats and a fine bell. He 
also paid off a large amount of indebtedness which had 
been standing for five or six years. After serving this 
charge for two years, and endearing himself to his people 
as usual, he was appointed Presiding Elder of the Edenton 
District. He is now serving his sixth year on this dis- 
trict by the unanimous request of both pastors and people. 

We know of no presiding elder who has done better 
work. Before his district was made smaller, in order to 
make a third district in the Conference, he made his the 


banner district in the connection. Notwithstanding the 
decrease in the size of the district he raised more General 
Fund in this year (1893) than any other district we have 
heard from. Brother Winfield is a wonderful word 
painter, and at the same time a most forcible preacher. 


H. B. Pettigrew was born in Tyrrell County, N. C, 
September 4, 1845. He made his escape • to the Union 
army November 22, 1862. He entered the camp at 
Plymouth, N. C, and cooked for the soldiers till Febru- 
ary, 1863, at which time he went to New Berne and 
enlisted in the Thirty-fifth United States Colored In- 
fantry ; got his left hip displaced and was discharged at 
James City; reenlisted February 1, 1864, at the same 
place. He was in General Foster's raid to Goldsboro, 
Washington, and Tarboro. He went to Virginia, and 
was promoted to first sergeant of Company B, Second 
United States Colored Cavalry. His first battle there 
was at Suffolk, under Colonel G. W. Golds, of New York. 
In March, 1864, he was in the battle at Deep Bottom, 
when a move was made on the Richmond defenses ; he 
was in the battle at Chickahominy, and led the van in a 
charge upon the Confederates at Malvern Hill. For his 
splendid behavior in that engagement he was awarded a 
silver medal by President Lincoln, which he now has. 
He was in thirteen battles and fifteen smaller engage- 
ments, and was twice wounded in battle. His last 
service was the pursuit of the Confederate General C. 
Smith, in Texas, just after the close of the war. He was 
mustered out February 12, 1866, at City Point, Va. 


In 1867 he was appointed steward of the United States 
pesthouse at Norfolk. In 1868 he was appointed tool- 
keeper in Gosport Navy Yard. In the latter part of the 
same year he came to Edenton, N. C, where he professed 
faith in Christ and joined the African Methodist Epis- 
copal Zion Church. In 1869 he received local preacher's 
license. In the same year he was married to his present 
devoted wife, having lost his first wife during the war. 

In 1872 he joined the Virginia Conference. He was 
ordained deacon in 1873 and had charge of the Chowan 
Circuit. In 1874 he was ordained elder and appointed 
to the Brunswick County Circuit, where he built St. Paul's 
Church, Solomon's Temple, Paradise Church, and Jeru- 
salem. In 1876 he was appointed yardkeeper at Rich- 
mond, Va. In 1879 he was appointed assistant lighthouse 
keeper at Cape Henry, and in 1880 was appointed light- 
house keeper at Brang Island Lighthouse. 

In the fall of 1882 he returned to the itinerancy and was 
appointed by Bishop Moore to the Long Ridge Circuit. 
He had splendid success in this work, but in the Hillery 
trouble in 1883, he having followed the lead of those 
who championed Hillery's cause, felt it his duty to stand 
by him until the General Conference had determined the 
case. This having been done, he was ready to resume 
his duties as soon as permitted. His next appointment 
was Zion Circuit. The Zion church was destroyed by fire, 
but he rebuilt it. He built a church at Milfield, called 
Mount Carmel, and also erected the Mount Moriah Church. 

In 1890 he was sent to the Jonesville Circuit. He 

built and completed the Hood's Temple at Jonesville, 

which is the finest church in that section ; he finished 


the church at Hamilton, and secured lumber and com- 
menced the church at Williamston ; he also secured the 
lumber for the church at Bethlehem. He is now serving 
his third year on the Hartford Circuit. He has built a 
parsonage at Hartford, built a splendid church at Poplar 
Run, finished the church at Oak Hill, and commenced 
one at Fork Bridge. He has come to be known as the 
great church builder; he is a splendid carpenter, and 
does the work himself, and it is astonishing how much 
he can do. The congregation that gets Pettigrew is 
sure of a church if it has none, and if it has a poor one, 
it is sure of a better one. He is not only a material 
builder, but he builds up his church spiritually at the 
same time, maintains discipline, and sees that his church 
does its part in supporting the connectional institutions. 
He is exceedingly anxious to give his children a good 
education, and has a daughter in the classics at Living- 
stone. He is distinguished for bold fearlessness. It is 
doubtful if ever a braver soldier went into battle; he 
felt that he was fighting for a cause in the interest of 
which it would be honorable to die. He will go through 
with what he undertakes or perish in the attempt if he 
believes that duty requires it of him. He was a delegate 
to the General Conference in 1876 and also in 1892. 


J. P. Thompson was converted March 18, 1868, in the 
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Fair Haven, 
N. J., under the pastorate of Rev. J. S.Marshall. He joined 
the church the same night of his conversion, and three 
months from that night he was made assistant class leader. 


Three months later he was given a trial sermon by Rev. 
Henry H. Dumson. One year later he joined the Annual 
Conference at Jersey City, Bishop J.J. Clinton presiding ; 
he was presented for admission by Rev. Charles Robinson, 
and was admitted with eight others. He had a conversa- 
tion with Bishop Clinton about Church work and the 
ministerial work and life. "Well," said he, "boy, the 
first thing is to know that you are converted ; the second 
is to know your calling and live a Christian life. Study 
night and day, and the right kind of books. Exercise 
a humble spirit, and success will attend you." He 
also said, "You must do something for God and Zion. 
You must organize and bring in new societies, and also 
build churches, that Zion may spread her borders. Look 
after the general interest of the connection." His first 
station was at Harlem, N. Y. ; he remained there one 
year and was quite successful, having a great revival and 
adding twenty to the church. He was then transferred 
to the New Jersey Conference and stationed at Paterson. 
There he found the church in a despairing condition, both 
temporally and spiritually, with twenty-four members. 
The second year he added twenty-five feet to the church, 
raised the ceiling, and handsomely seated it. God poured 
out his Spirit, and a great revival followed, about thirty- 
six being converted. He left a debt of $150 to go to 
Camden, N. J., where he found the church in a very 
precarious condition. The people supposed that they 
owned the ground, but he discovered that they possessed 
no title. In order to secure them a title he was in the 
Court of Chancery two years. The court decided in 
favor of the church. He then repaired it. In his third 


year he had a great revival, and ninety-three were con- 
verted. He also built them a handsome new brick 
church and left a debt of $2,000. While building 
this church he went to Atlantic City, N. J., and 
organized a society ; three weeks after the organization 
he purchased a handsome church in Ohio Avenue, and 
put them in it and organized a fine Sunday school. This 
is now one of the finest churches in the Conference. 

Red Bank, N. J., was his next appointment, which 
was his spiritual home, where he was converted, licensed, 
recommended to the Annual Conference, and ordained 
elder by Bishop Clinton. He found the church prop- 
erty $600 more in debt than it was when dedicated. 
He paid $1,700, leaving only $600. He then built a fine 
parsonage. That year ninety-six were converted and 
added to the church. 

The Newark church, after a struggle of twelve years, 
was about to be stricken off the Conference roll. He 
asked Bishop Moore to place it under his supervision. 
He reorganized the church, consisting of five members 
(Brother Benjamin Richardson and family), built them 
a little chapel 24 by 40 feet, and presented it to the 
Conference with a membership of twenty-four. The 
second year of his pastorate at Red Bank he went to 
Reveytown and organized a society of twenty-five 
members, built them a frame church, and presented it to 
the Conference free of debt. During the third year at 
Red Bank he went to Asbury Park, N. J., and bought a 
lot for $600 for the Mission Board. He asked the board 
to send him $25, which they did, and he secured the lot. 
He then commenced to build. He went to all the lum- 


ber yards and begged lumber for the church, assisted by 
Rev. J. H. White. They succeeded in building the 
church for the Mission Board. He was then transferred 
to the Philadelphia and Baltimore Conference, and ap- 
pointed to Philadelphia by Bishop Hood, who informed 
him that he desired him to get the church away from the 
location on Lombard Street, near Sixth, as he was satis- 
fied it could not be built up at that place. The second 
year he sold the old church and bought the splendid 
edifice at the corner of Fifteenth and Lombard Streets, 
the church which Bishop Hood selected as the one he 
would like them to buy. It had not been offered for sale 
at the time he told them of it, but Providence favored 
them. This became the leading colored church. In the 
old church, when Thompson took charge, the morning- 
congregation numbered about forty persons, evening 
about sixty, Sabbath school one hundred and fifty. In 
the new church on his fourth year he had a congregation 
of one thousand and a Sabbath school numbering more 
than five hundred. 

Under Elder Thompson's direction the sacred dead, 
including the body of Bishop J.J. Clinton, were removed 
from the old church ground to the cemetery at West 
Philadelphia. He was sent to John Wesley's Church, 
Washington, D. C. At his first rally he raised $400, 
which paid all the interest due on the church. Finding 
the church unable to meet its liabilities, he built six 
houses, including a parsonage, on the lot, which would 
bring a revenue sufficient to meet all expenses and 
eventually pay off the main debt. At this juncture he 
found the property was deeded to individuals and not to the 


members of the church. By a great effort he succeeded 
in having the deed made according to the Discipline. 
They then had a glorious revival ; sixty souls were con- 
verted, and the church and Sabbath school were built up. 
He was then sent to York, remained three months, and 
was then transferred to the Missouri Conference and 
stationed at Washington Chapel, St. Louis. He found 
it an inferior structure and somewhat in debt. He 
first paid off all indebtedness, and then made prepara- 
tions to build, but found that the property was not se- 
cure. It was deeded to individuals outside of the church, 
who refused to give them a deed. It cost $700 to get a 
deed. They then erected a new church, stone front, 
with polished granite pillars 50 by 126 feet, a fine tower 
156 feet high, in which there is a grand bell. The 
church is handsomely finished and valued at $30,000, on 
which there is now an indebtedness of about $15,000. 
The congregation is steadily increasing. 


D. I. Walker was born in Chester County, S. C, in 
July, 1838. He was married to Matilda McDonald June 
1, 1 86 1. He embraced religion and joined the church 
in early life, and was class leader and exhorter before 
the war ; his father died when he was very young, leav- 
ing the mother a widow with twelve children. The 
system of slavery which surrounded them was, however, 
the greatest hindrance to young Walker's progress. 

The period at which the war closed found him with a 
wife and two children and not more than ten dollars. For 
two years he worked on a farm for part of the crop, 


during which time he obtained such instruction from 
Northern teachers as his time permitted. In 1866 Rev. 
Bird Hampton Taylor, from Charlotte, N. C, went to 
Chester, S. C, organized the African Methodist Episcopal 
Zion Church, held a Quarterly Conference, and gave 
Walker local preacher's license. On the 24th of March, 
1867, Bishop J. J. Clinton organized the South Carolina 
Conference, of which Walker was one of the original 
members. He was ordained deacon and elder at that Con- 
ference, and was given the pastoral charge of the church at 
Chester and the charge of the county as presiding elder 
and missionary. He continued to hold the pastoral charge 
and presiding eldership together for seven years. About 
1872 he was relieved of the pastoral charge, but was con- 
tinued as Presiding Elder of the Chester District till about 
1882, at which time all the presiding elders were changed 
and started on a rotating system. Walker was continued 
in office as presiding elder through the administration of 
nine bishops, with the exception of two years. His 
being out at all was on account of the fact that Bishop 
Jones, who nominated him, was too sick to be in Confer- 
ence during the election, and ambitious men who wanted 
his place managed to defeat him. When I. C. Clinton was 
made bishop he appointed Walker to succeed himself as 
presiding elder, and at the Conference in 1892 he was 
reelected. He is specially adapted to this work. During 
the period that he had charge of the Chester District he 
planted a church in every part of that county, and 
many of the churches are the finest we have in that 
State. While he had charge in Chester County he was 
elected school commissioner and established many schools 


in that county ; he was also elected to the State Senate. 
His people had the fullest confidence in him. After he 
was elected to the Senate a strange white man came to 
his house and wanted to stay all night. Bishop Hood 
was present at the tim